Six Chipinge villagers from Chinyamukwakwa area will receive $500 in compensation after successfully suing Zimbabwe Republic Police, Police Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri and Minister of Home Affairs, Ignatius Chombo for injuries sustained after being assaulted by police officers while in custody.
In a judgment handed in Chipinge on the 16th of March 2017, Magistrate Poterai Gwezhira ordered the Minister of Home Affairs and the Commissioner General of Police to pay $500 in damages to each of the six Chinyamukwakwa villagers for injuries sustained when they were assaulted while in police custody on 6 January 2015.
The six villagers, Samson Mugovera, Vaina Ndhlovu, Mugovera Makaza,Chipo Shiripinda,Maxwell Mtisi and Eddie Maberere were arrested on the 6th of January 2015 and heavily assaulted while in police custody after being arrested at the instigation of Green Fuel who are involved in a boundary conflict with communities around its multi-million ethanol project in Chisumbanje.
As a result of the beating, the six Chinyamukwakwa farmers sustained various levels of injury and were only released.
In his judgement, the Magistrate Gwezhira said “Accordingly, judgement is entered for the Plaintiffs and against the defendant as follows: There will be an order for the Plaintiff, against the defendants severally, the one paying the other to be absolved for Payment of the sum of US$ 500 for pain and suffering to each plaintiff, Payment of the sum of US$ 901.80 to Vaina Ndhlovu,US$ 735 to Samson Muyambo Mugovera and US$60 to Chipo Shiripinda and Costs of the lawsuit suit
Platform for Youth Development, the organisation that has been fighting illegal dispossession of land to Chisumbanje and Chinyamukwakwa villagers by Green Fuel applauded the court decision saying justice has prevailed.
“We have been vindicated against the police officers who take the law into their hands without considering that villagers have rights. As a pressure group, we are guided by the constitution and will continue to target individual police officers and summon them to remind them to respect the ZRP Charter” said PYD Director, Claris Madhuku.