Please assign a menu to the primary menu location under menu

Crime & Courts

Reckless Use Of Spikes ZRP Attempts To Dodge Responsibility


THE ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) is desperately seeking to dodge liability for the negligent conduct of its officers, which caused the death of some people last year.



On 14 December 2022, Kevin Kabaya and Peggy Tavagadza of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), sued ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Hon. Kazembe Kazembe at Mutare High Court, claiming payment amounting to US$18 000 as damages for pain and suffering, permanent disfigurement, loss of amenities, nervous shock and future medical expenses.




The summons were issued after some delinquent ZRP officers threw some hand held metal spikes on an alleged speeding commuter omnibus in Mutare on 4 May 2022, which led to a fatal road traffic accident, loss of lives and injuries to some commuters.





Now in response to the summons, ZRP is attempting to dodge responsibility by refusing to disclose the identity of the culprits, who are police officers, who were manning the road check point and who through their negligent conduct caused the traffic accident.




In an application for exception filed at Mutare High Court recently, ZRP argued that the victims had in their summons not specified the names of the primary perpetrators, who caused the road traffic accident and hence the summons and the claim should be dismissed.




On 28 October 2022, Kabaya and Tavagadza wrote a letter to the Provincial Legal Officer at ZRP Manicaland provincial headquarters protesting that they had not been informed on whether any ZRP traffic police officers had been charged with any offence and whether any internal disciplinary procedures had been instituted arising from their reckless conduct.




Kabaya and Tavagadza said their clients were extremely concerned that they have neither been invited for interviews nor have any statements been recorded from them regarding the fatal road traffic accident.



Their clients, the human rights lawyers said, wanted to be furnished with information regarding at which stage the ZRP’s purported investigations into the matter are at and the details of all traffic police officers, who were at the scene of the accident.



They argued that in making the request they were exercising their right to access to information as enshrined in section 62 of the Constitution as read with section 7 of the Freedom of Information Act.

Robert Tapfumaneyi