By Own Correspondent
BULAWAYO – The family of Paul Munakopa, a 34-year-old Bulawayo man who was shot and killed by police last year has filed a US$436,000 lawsuit seeking damages from Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe.
Munakopa was shot several times during a high-speed car chase while in the company of his girlfriend by officers driving an unmarked vehicle on May 23 in Hillside suburb. He later died in hospital.
Through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the family also wants police-commissioner general Godwin Matanga and the two accused officers held accountable.
“In the summons filed recently at Bulawayo High Court, [Josphat] Tshuma, representing the Munakopa family, said police officers acted negligently and caused the death of Munakopa by discharging firearms without due care and attention. Tshuma said police officers are liable for their conduct,” the ZLHR said in a Twitter post.
“Tshuma wants Kazembe, Matanga, and the cops namely Digson Nyoni, Langton Makonye, and two individuals Ross Johnson and Kyle Bennet to pay damages amounting to US$436 000 for loss of support to the Munakopa family including his minor children, emotional shock, and trauma caused by witnessing his death.”
Munakopa is one of at least 10 people who were killed with impunity by Zimbabwe security forces last year for various reasons including accusations of violating Covid-9 conventions, according to Amnesty International which issued a report this week blasting President Emmerson Mnangagwa for perpetuating human rights violations.
The other victims, the watchdog said, include Bhekani Moyo from Silobela, Levison Moyo from Bulawayo, MDC Alliance councilor Lavender Chiwaya, and Mazwi Ndlovu, murdered by suspected Zanu PF supporters in Plumtree for asking why opposition supporters were being denied access to Covid-19 aid.
With the help of the ZLHR, Kazembe and police chiefs are facing a deluge of claims from aggrieved citizens who have either lost a loved one due to police brutality or whose rights have been violated in various ways.