Overzealous cop’s salary garnished

Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
AN overzealous police constable, who went out on the frolic of his own and brutally assaulted a Zimunya villager during investigations, will for the next 10 months have $100 deducted from his monthly salary to pay up damages to the tune of $1 007.

A Mutare magistrate Mrs Yeukai Chigodora expressed displeasure over the conduct of the overzealous Constable Tafara Depute saying related cases were now on the increase.

A Mutare man Mr Samson Jackson, who was once arrested at Zimunya Police Station in Mutare for insulting some Zanu-PF officials, sued the policeman after being brutally assaulted.

After the brutal attack, Jackson was hospitalised for four days. He sued the policeman for $3 000 but magistrate Mrs Chigodora reduced the amount to $1 007.

Yesterday, another magistrate Ms Annia Ndiraya issued a garnishee order against Cst Depute, which will see $100 being deducted from his salary for the next 10 months.

In terms of the garnishee order, the Salary Services Bureau must, for 10 months, deduct $100 monthly from the salary of Cst Depute in fulfilment of the judgment issued by magistrate Mrs Chigodora last month.

In the judgment delivered last month in favour of Mr Jackson, who was represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, Mrs Chigodora breathed fire over the conduct of some police officers who abuse, instead of protecting the citizens’ rights.

“The number of police officers assaulting the arrested citizens has of late been on the increase and the court must show its displeasure with such conduct.

“Police officers must protect the citizens’ rights and not abuse them,” she said.

Mrs Chigodora found that the claim for $3 000 was too much.

“However, the claim is rather too much considering that there was no loss of amenities.

“It is my well considered view that the defendant should bear the plaintiff’s hospital expenses as well as pay $400 for pain and suffering.

“The defendant shall therefore be ordered to pay $1 007, broken down as follows:

a) $607 — medical bills

b) $400 — damages for pain and suffering.”

Cst Depute was also ordered to pay costs of the suit.

In most cases where police officers assault suspects or members of the public, reporting the case to the police does not usually bear fruit and at times investigations take longer than expected.

The judgment came at a time when a Herald correspondent Lovemore Meya was battered by anti-riot police for doing his job in Chitungwiza.

Meya was attacked by the police while covering the violence that erupted in Chitungwiza between touts and residents early this month.

Meya sustained injuries all over the body and reported the matter at Harare Central Police Station under case number IR01/02/64.

Police officers in riot gear hit him with batons, slapped and kicked him several times, despite displaying his Zimbabwe Media Commission accreditation card and explaining to them that he was a bona fide reporter assigned to cover the skirmishes.

After bashing him, the police officers seized his camera and ordered him to delete the pictures he had taken.

Meya was taken to Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals on the same day where he was examined and treated by Dr Kamutika.

The medical report indicated that he experienced trauma, generalised limb pain, a mild swelling forearm and bloodshot in the left eye.

Since January 5 this year when Meya made a police report, investigations appear to be moving at a snail’s pace.

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