Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and the officer-in-charge of St Mary’s Police Station have been jointly ordered to pay over $16 000 to a Chitungwiza woman who was shot by a police officer at a roadblock in 2018.
High Court judge Justice Edith Mushore on July 8 ruled that the trio pay US$16 788,75 for damages to Loveness Chiriseni, the victim of the shooting. Justice Mushore ruled that the police officer who shot Chiriseni was reckless. She said:
The plaintiff was an unarmed, non-threatening passenger in a vehicle. It is undeniable that the police had no basis per the constitutional provisions to fire a weapon at a civilian target.
If it was his intention to stop the driver of the vehicle from proceeding through the roadblock, he ought to have fired a warning shot into the air.
The police officer deployed unbridled excessive force which was not justifiable and thus failed to exercise his constitutionally imposed duty of care which he owed the plaintiff.
The shooting incident occurred on August 19, 2018, at a police roadblock at the intersection of Seke and Delport Road.
Officers from St Mary’s Police Station, who had mounted the roadblock, fired shots at an unregistered private vehicle which was being driven by one Lloyd Sibanda into town after he had failed to stop.
Chiriseni, who was a passenger in the vehicle, was hit on her right buttock.
She was taken to St Mary’s hospital for treatment and endured out-patient care daily for three months and incurred transport costs, trauma, depression, and anxiety.