By A Correspondent- Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe has been slapped with a US$90 000 lawsuit by three Harare women who were arrested and detained in Mabvuku suburb early this year for allegedly breaching Covid-19 regulations.
The three women are Linda and Millicent Mbundire as well as Mavis Katuka, claim they were arrested while they had left their homes to go and purchase some food items for their families.
The women say they were within 500 metres from their homes when they were arrested and detained for two days.
In their court challenge, the women cited Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga, Officer in Charge of Mabvuku Police Station and one Constable Aleck as respondents.
They are each demanding US$15 000 for unlawful arrest and US$15 000 for unlawful detention.
In their declaration, the trio said the incident happened on February 13 this year when government moved to tighten its lockdown measures during the second wave of the pandemic.
Court has been told the three, who are neighbours, were arrested while within a 500-metre radius from their homes.
Linda Mbundire said when she got arrested, police seized her laptop, cell phones and passport and arrested her without warrant.
“The arrest was arbitrary and without just cause. Consequent to the unlawful arrest, each of the plaintiffs suffered damages in the sum of US$15 000 for unlawful and wrongful arrest,” she said.
After their arrest, the three said they were detained at Mabvuku Police Station between 13 and 15 February 2021.
Mbundire said the police “did not observe the Wednesbury principles and also failed to comply with the strict requirements of the Covid-19 regulations they purported to be implementing. The detention was needless, malicious and unlawful.”
According to court papers, on February 15, the trio was threatened and made to pay admission fines by Constable Aleck for purposes of securing their liberty.
Their lawyers, Mbizo, Muchadehama and Makoni said the charge in respect of which they were made to pay an admission of guilt did not exist.
For this, the three again demanded US$15 000 each as compensation plus interest.
The matter is yet to be heard.