#THISFLAG campaign leader, Evan Mawarire has filed a $65 000 lawsuit against the Zimbabwe Republic Police for unlawful arrest and detention at the height of his anti-government protests last year.
Mawarire filed the summons on Tuesday this week citing Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Assistant Commissioner Crispen Makedenge, Detective Inspector Edmore Runganga and a Detective Inspector Phiri, as respondents.
In his court application, Mawarire who is represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), accused the law enforcement agents of illegally arresting him on three occasions between February 1 and November 2017.
“All his arrests ensured that he was detained in police cells and correctional facilities including Harare Central Police Station, Harare Remand Prison and Chikurubi Maximum Prison. This incarceration not only hampered his freedom of movement but also put him in danger of being attacked by actual criminals in prison, who threatened him.”
The clergyman further said the subsequent arrests and detentions by the police were unlawful and as such actionable at law adding that his arrest and detention on February 1, 2017, was declared unlawful by the Magistrates’ Court.
“The arrests and detention of February 1, 2017 was declared baseless and unjustified by the High Court leading to plaintiff’s discharge at the close of the State’s case. The arrest and detention of June 26, 2017 was also declared unlawful by the Magistrates’ Court leading to his acquittal,” Mawarire said.
“At all material times, the arrests were motivated by malice on the part of the defendants as there was no reasonable suspicion that an offence had been committed. Plaintiff was arrested for exercising his rights in terms of the Constitution.”
Mawarire said he had cited the senior police officers as respondents because “the delictual acts” were committed during the course and scope of the officers’ employment.
“At all material times, the plaintiff was employed at His Generation in Milton Park as a pastor, where he was earning the sum of $1 500 per month. As a result of the arrest and detentions, he failed to perform his day-to-day pastoral duties resulting in the loss of income,” he said.
“As an upstanding citizen, who has never committed a crime of the nature he was accused of, he was extremely terrified to be, thus, accused, arrested and detained. The plaintiff had never been in prison all his life and both the arrests and prison detention experiences greatly terrified him. As a result, he endured trauma and shock.
“This experience has left the plaintiff with emotional, psychological, reputational, professional, financial and relational damage that will be impossible to recoup.”
All the cited defendants have not yet responded to the litigation.