The Human Rights NGO Forum applauds the recent ruling by the High Court ordering Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi and Police –Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to pay US$3 500 to a Chitungwiza woman who was assaulted and tortured by the police.
Fatima Manhando was unlawfully assaulted by members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police in 2008 and Justice Lavender Makoni who heard the matter on Wednesday ordered Manhando, to be paid US$3 500 together with interest at the prescribed rate from the date of summons to date of final and full payment. Makoni, issued an order in default after Mohadi and Chihuri failed to appear in court.
The Human Rights NGO Forum through its lawyers Tafadzwa Christmas assisted by Kenias Shonhai told the court that Manhando was walking along Mbuya Nehanda Street near Speke Avenue when she was intercepted by ZRP officers who were dressed in conventional police regalia and without provocation assaulted her with baton sticks several times indiscriminately all over the body causing her injuries.
Manhando sustained numerous injuries all over her body and suffered excruciating pain
Mohadi and Chihuri were also ordered to pay the costs of suits.
Commenting after the hearing, Christmas said that that they were happy with the order granted by the court. “The assault perpetrated on the Applicant was wrongful and unlawful as it was unprovoked and it resulted in injuries. We hope that the state will abide by the court order and not hide behind the State Liabilities Act which bars citizens from attaching the property of the state,” he said.
Christmas said in line with the Forum’s mandate to help victims of organised violence and torture, in Zimbabwe and elsewhere they are happy with the judgment and he said he hoped that the judgment could deter the police from assaulting and torturing civilians.