Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Police ordered to pay USD$53K over killing of innocent footballer in 2019

By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |

High Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore on Wednesday ordered the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) to pay Z$4.3 million (US$53,557) to the family of Kelvin Tinashe Choto, 22, who was shot dead during protests over a sharp 130% increase in fuel price in January 2019.

A family member of Kelvin Tinashe Choto reacts, during his funeral in Chitungwiza, about 30 kilometres south east of the capital, Harare, Zimbabwe, Saturday, Jan, 19, 2019. Before the family of Kelvin Tinashe Choto knew he had been killed, social media in Zimbabwe was circulating a photo of his battered body lying on the reception counter of a local police station. Angry protesters had left him there. The 22-year-old was shot in the head, one of at least a dozen people killed since Monday in a violent crackdown by security. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)
A family member of Kelvin Tinashe Choto reacts, during his funeral in Chitungwiza, about 30 kilometres south east of the capital, Harare, Zimbabwe, Saturday, Jan, 19, 2019. Before the family of Kelvin Tinashe Choto knew he had been killed, social media in Zimbabwe was circulating a photo of his battered body lying on the reception counter of a local police station. Angry protesters had left him there. The 22-year-old was shot in the head, one of at least a dozen people killed since Monday in a violent crackdown by security. (AP Photo/Tsvangirayi Mukwazhi)

Choto, a promising footballer was shot in the head during protests in Chitungwiza on January 14. He wasn’t part of the demonstrators.

Mushore ruled that Choto’s killing was unlawful, and awarded damages to his father Julius Choto and widow, Varaidzo Chiyanike.

The Choto family had sued the police, the Home Affairs minister and Constable Rachid Siri, who fired the fatal shot.

Security forces fired live ammunition, killing 17 people, and raped at least 17 women during demonstrations that ran for three days throughout Zimbabwe.

Dewa Mavhinga, director of Human Rights Watch in Southern Africa, urged President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government to pay the damages. But he was also worried that the Zanu PF administration failed to apologise to Choto’s family.

“Zimbabwe Police, the Ministry of Home Affairs & Constable Rachid Siri should do the right thing and pay the damages for the unlawful killing of Kelvin Choto as directed by the High Court in a default judgment today. #stoppolicebrutality.

“The Mnangagwa’s government has not apologized to the Choto family for this unlawful killing of Kelvin under the so-called New Dispensation. It had to take the tenacity of Julius Choto, the father & @ZLHRLawyers expertise to compel @PoliceZimbabwe to pay damages,” Mavhinga said.

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