A Harare man who was awarded $295 000 in damages by the courts in 2019 for the injuries he sustained during the 1 August 2018, electoral violence, is back in court to defend his claim.
Zakeo Mutimutema, a Zimbabwe Congres of Trade Unions (ZCTU) employee, is now partially blind after he sustained facial injuries when soldiers fired live ammunition to quell electoral related violence on 1 August 2018.
In 2019, Mutimutema successfully sued the government for $295 000, but the government, through Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, recently appealed against the award.
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The complainant was shot while in his office at Gorlon House in Harare. As a result, he partially lost his sight.
He has undergone three unsuccessful eye surgeries to remove fine glass particles that pierced his eyes after a bullet shattered glass windows at his office.
Kazembe has, through government lawyer Abigail Mushayabasa, appealed against the award, saying Mutimutema must name the soldier who fired a bullet at his office before he gets financial redress.
Mutimutema’s lawyer Obey Shava told NewsDay that it was shocking that the government was refusing to compensate his client after it initially appeared ready to settle the claim. Said Shava:
According to police’s own investigations and conclusions which were conducted by the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Forensic Ballistics, they confirm that the bullet which shattered and fragmented my client’s office window was fired by the Zimbabwe National Army from outside his office.
How does the Home Affairs minister expect someone who was in the office to name a person he never met?
A commission of inquiry chaired by former South African President Kgalema Motlanthe was appointed by President Emmerson Mnangagwa to probe the shootings.
It recommended that government should compensate all the victims of the 1 August 2018 shootings, and bring to book members of the army and police who were behind the shootings.
Three years down the line, the government has made no attempt to bring the soldiers to book or compensate the victims.