Home Politics Court orders Minister Muchinguri, military chief to compensate assault victim

Court orders Minister Muchinguri, military chief to compensate assault victim

by Bustop TV News

Civil Court has ordered Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri and Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) Commander Lieutenant-General Douglas Sanyatwe to pay over ZWD 41,000 to Harare resident Muchademba Muponde.

Muponde was assaulted by soldiers in January 2019 during nationwide protests against fuel price hikes.

Magistrate Tamara Chibindi found Muchinguri and Sanyatwe liable for the actions of the soldiers deployed to quell the protests: according to a post by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

“Defence Minister Hon. Muchinguri & ZNA Commander Lieutenant-General Sanyatwe, have been convicted for the brutal assault of Muchademba Muponde & ordered to pay him more than ZiG 41 000 as compensation for the ill-treatment, which he endured at the hands of soldiers in 2019.

“Hon. Muchinguri & Sanyatwe were on Wednesday ordered by Harare Civil Court Magistrate Tamara Chibindi to pay ZiG 41 633 to Muponde, a resident of Harare, who was heavily brutalised by some soldiers on 16 January 2019, when they were deployed to suppress countrywide anti-govt protests, which were held in response to a unilateral govt increase in fuel prices & worsening standards of living,” reads the post.

A representative from ZLHR argued that Muponde was brutally beaten by a soldier while on an errand in Glenview 1 Shopping Centre in Harare with his grandfather.

During the trial, which began in February 2024, Muchinguri and Sanyatwe argued that the soldiers were under the command of the Zimbabwe Republic Police during the deployment.

Magistrate Chibindi rejected this argument, holding them accountable for the actions of the soldiers.

The judgement awards Muponde Zig 20,816 for pain, suffering, and trauma, and a further Zig 20,816 for humiliation and affront to his dignity.

Interest on the total amount will also accrue from 2019 until the payment is made. 

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