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Kazembe and Matanga on trial for police shooting of 25 year old civilian

Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga are on trial in a case in which a Harare man is suing them for ZWL6, 2 million (US$ 52 542) as damages after he was shot by police officers on the 14th January 2019.

Pardon Chitongo, a 25 year-old Epworth resident was shot by police during its crackdown on the anti-government protests in Epworth.

The victim is being represented by Fiona Iliff and Paidamoyo Saurombe of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe
Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe

The lawyers group confirmed Matanga and Kazembe are on trial over the case

“At Harare High Court, Police CG Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs Minister Hon. Kazembe Kazembe are on trial in a case in which 25 year-old Epworth resident Pardon Chitongo is suing them for ZWL6.2 million as damages after he was shot by police officers on 14 January 2019,” ZLHR said in a statement.

“Chitongo was standing outside his uncle’s house when police officers recklessly and indiscriminately started shooting towards him, ostensibly to target some protestors during an anti-govt demonstration. Chitongo had not been protesting and was simply caught in the cross-fire.

“He was hit by a bullet which pierced through his arm and penetrated through his body, coming out on the other side of his body & hitting the other arm. As a result of the grave nature of his injuries, he had to undergo an operation to remove one of his kidneys and has suffered permanent damage to his spinal cord.

“ZLHR’s Fiona Iliff and Paidamoyo Saurombe are representing Chitongo and we intervened in this matter to protect Chitongo against arbitrary police brutality.”

Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.
Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s regime is widely accused of perpetrating human rights abuses.

The January 2019 protests were caused by a 130% increase in the price of fuel imposed by the government along with increasing levels of poverty, the poor state of the economy and declining standards of living. Nehanda Radio

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