By Court Reporter
Six human rights defenders accused of receiving training on how to subvert President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government in the Maldives have sued Home Affairs Minister for US$300 000.
The six are Rita Nyampinga, Sitabile Dewa, Nyasha Mpahlo, Tatenda Mombeyarara, Gamuchirai Mukura and George Makoni.
Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Officer-In-Charge of Harare CID Law and Order, detective assistant inspector Ben Justen, detective constable Mutuzungari and Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi are Respondents.
Nyampinga, Dewa, Mpahlo, Mombeyarara, Mukura and Makoni are demanding US$50 000 each as they insist that their arrests were arbitrary and without warrant.
The six are also each demanding US$10 000 in damages for wrongful and unlawful detention as well as US$5 000 in damages for shock and suffering.
Additionally, they are demanding another US$20 000 each for loss of income, malicious prosecution as well as travel, accommodation and legal expenses incurred as a result of the wrongful arrest by the police.
“Plaintiff was arrested at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport upon her arrival from the Maldives. At the time of her arrest, the police seized her laptop, mobile phones and Zimbabwean passports”, reads their court papers.
“Consequent to the unlawful arrest, plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of US$15 000 payable at the prevailing interbank rate as at the date of payment being general damages for wrongful arrest.”
“Plaintiff was detained in police cells overnight at Harare Central Police Station on 27 and 28 May 2019.
“In ordering her detention, the police did not observe the Wednesbury principles.
“As a result of the wrongful detention, plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of US$10 000 being general damages for unlawful and wrongful detention.
“Further, as a result of the inhumane and degrading treatment plaintiff suffered for the duration of her detention in police custody, and at remand prison, plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of US$5 000.”
The group was arrested in May 2019 at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport, Harare, on their return from a peaceful resistance workshop in the Maldives.