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Zim Army ordered to pay US$3 000 to military torture victim

By Agencies/Staff Writer

THE Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) has been ordered to pay US$3 000 which is equivalent to about US$3 000 to a victim of torture, Muchademba Muponde of Glenview, who was brutally attacked by soldiers who were thwarting an anti-government protest in January 2019.

This follows their conviction by Harare magistrate Tamara Chibindi.

Defence Minister Oppah Muchinguri and the ZNA commander Anselem Sanyatwe had denied allegations during trial, laying the blame on the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) whom they said were mandated with law enforcement on the day Muponde was brutally assaulted.

But the court ruled the two were liable before ordering them to pay the victim in damages.

The magistrate said ZiG 20 816 will be damages for pain, suffering, trauma and nervous shock Muponde suffered.

The same amount will settle damages for affront to dignity, humiliation and embarrassment he endured during and following the attack.

Muponde was represented by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

ZLHR said the incident occurred at Glenview 1 Shops on 16 January 2019.

ZNA officers were deployed to suppress anti-government protests against the hike in fuel prices.

While they were chasing people around, Muponde also began to flee.

“One of the soldiers, who was brandishing a gun, spotted him and gave chase and caught him before assaulting him on the back of his body and neck using the back of the firearm.

“Muponde started bleeding when the soldier hit him on the back of his head and ran to hide at a nearby homestead but the soldier followed him and continued assaulting him using the back of the gun at the homestead,” the court heard.

At one point, the soldier even lifted his gun threatening to shoot him, ZLHR said.

Muponde sustained serious injuries on both legs including internal injuries on his left leg as a result of the assault and he could not walk.

The soldier continued beating him and only stopped after seeing the severity of the injuries he had sustained.

The soldier then instructed him to wash the blood off his face.

After the assault Muponde then engaged Chinopfukutwa and sued Muchinguri and the army boss,  claiming payment of damages for pain, suffering, nervous shock, contumelia, an affront to dignity and humiliation, a case he has won.

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