By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
67 year-old Lillian Chinyerere who hit the headlines in 2016 after being brutally assaulted by riot police outside Rotten Row Magistrates Courts and winning USD$13 500 in compensation has again been awarded ZWL175 000 (US$2059) over another police assault during protests in 2019.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga were ordered to pay damages to Chinyerere who was assaulted for a second time by police during anti-government protests in 2019.
Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba ordered the Minister and Police to pay damages amounting to ZWL175 000 (US$2059) as compensation for the pain and humiliation which she suffered.
Chinyere was represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights. She had sued Kazembe and Matanga on 22 January 2020 claiming payment of damages arising from the assault by police officers.
ZLHR says Chinyerere was assaulted by the ZRP police officers on 16 August 2019 near Africa Unity Square in central Harare together with other protestors who were participating in a peaceful anti-government demonstration.
As a result of the assault by ZRP members, Chinyerere sustained injuries on her back, on her hands and a dislocated finger and had to seek medical treatment.
Magistrate Mashamba was convinced by Chinopfukutwa that Chinyerere’s dignity was severely impaired due to the inhumane and degrading treatment at the hands of the security agents.
The human rights lawyer said the 67 year-old Chinyerere was subjected to pain and suffering and nervous shock emanating from the injuries which she sustained as a result of the unlawful assault perpetrated upon her by ZRP officers.
In her ruling, the magistrate said out of a total of ZWL175 000, Magistrate Mashamba said ZWL100 000 (US$1176) is compensation for damages for affront to dignity, humiliation and embarrassment, while ZWL75 000 (US$882) is payment for damages for pain and suffering.
This comes barely two weeks after magistrate Winfild Tiyatara ordered Matanga and Kazembe to pay ZWL56 800 (US$668) to Canaan Machando and ZWL24 000 (US$282) to his wife Sipetangani as compensation for violation of their rights and their property which was roughed up by law enforcement agents during protests in Chitungwiza in 2019.