High Court orders ZRP to compensate recklessly shot citizen US$16 000
High Court has ordered Zimbabwe Republic Police to pay US$16 788 as compensation to a woman who was recklessly shot at a roadblock two years ago.
Justice Edith Mushore ordered the ZRP to extend the compensation after being convinced by the police, who pulled a trigger at a moving vehicle along Chitungwiza Road in August 2018.
The court ruled that the police detail acted recklessly, injuring then 30-year-old Loveness Chiriseri after the driver of the vehicle in which she was travelling reportedly refused to stop at a roadblock.
Chiriseri, who had hitched a lift to town in a blue Honda Fit on August 19, ended up being admitted to Chitungwiza General Hospital nursing a bullet wound after being shot.
She said the police officer fired at the car after the driver failed to stop at the roadblock and one of the bullets hit her.
Medical records signed by a Doctor Garapo produced in court showed that she was nursing a gunshot wound.
“Patient who sustained above injury after a bullet ricocheted from a car and hit a patient who was a passenger,” her medical record read.
She said the police have been mum over the incident and she was being forced to pay for her medical bills.
The ZRP attempted to defend the lawsuit arguing that the police officer acted responsibly.
“There was no recklessness on the part of the police officer. He was deployed to check unmarked vehicles of different types and makes that had been terrorising innocent citizens of Zimbabwe. The vehicle plaintiff was in had no number plates and the driver failed to stop when asked to stop when instructed to do so,” read the police defense.
ZRP said a reasonable suspicion to the effect that the vehicle had been used in the commission of an offence cannot be discounted in these circumstances.
“If anything, the damages must be directed at the driver, who intentionally tried to evade lawful police instruction,” said the ZRP.