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1 August Army Shooting Victim Wins $3 Million Compensation

Defence and War Veterans Minister Oppah Muchinguri, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, have been ordered to pay ZWL$3 million in compensation to a victim of the 1 August 2018 shootings by the army.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Zakeo Mutimutema filed an application for damages caused to his eyes after some glass particles got into his eyes when armed soldiers shot at a building housing his offices on 1 August 2018 while dispersing protestors.

Mutimutema worked for the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions (ZCTU) at the time.

Mutimutema was initially awarded ZWL$295 000 as damages in November 2020, but Muchinguri, Kazembe and Matanga reneged on paying.

This compelled his lawyer, Obey Shava of ZLHR in 2021 to file an application seeking to amend Mutimutema’s summons arguing that the compensation award had been significantly eroded by inflation.

In response, Harare Magistrate Lazini Ncube ordered Muchinguri, Kazembe and Matanga to pay ZWL$3 million to Mutimutema.

Of the ZWL$3 million, ZWL$2 million will cover current and future medical expenses to be incurred by Mutimutema, ZWL$500 000 is for pain and suffering while ZWL$500 000 will cater for general damages.

Six people were shot dead and dozens injured when soldiers opened fire on protestors in central Harare.

President Emmerson Mnangagwa later appointed a commission of inquiry chaired by former South African President, Kgalema Motlanthe, to probe the killings.

The Motlanthe commission recommended that government should compensate all the victims of the shootings and prosecute the perpetrators.

But four years on, victims have not yet been compensated, while there has been no prosecution of the perpetrators.

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