$3 million Compensation For August 1 Shooting Victim

Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri and her Home Affairs counterpart, Kazembe Kazembe, have been ordered to pay $3 million in compensation to a victim of the August 1, 2018 shootings by the army.

Zakeo Mutimutema filed an application for damages after he suffered injuries when soldiers shot him during the post-election protest.Mutimutema was initially awarded $295 000 as damages in November 2020, but Muchinguri and Kazembe reneged on paying.

Mutimutema, through his lawyer Obey Shava of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, filed another application last year seeking to amend his summons saying inflation had eroded the compensation.

Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube ruled in his favour, with $2 million set to cater for current and future medical expenses, $500 000 for pain and suffering, while $500 000 is for general damages.

Mutimutema, who worked for the Zimbabwe Congress of Trade Unions, approached the courts seeking compensation for damages caused to his eyes when soldiers fired bullets at a building housing his offices.Six people were shot dead on that day.

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

Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda denied that the army shot and killed civilians during the August 1 protests when he appeared before the commission.

Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa, leading the MDC Alliance at the time, appeared before the commission and distanced his party from the violence.

Source: Newsday

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