Matanga Hauled To Court Over Unlawful Arrest
24 July 2023
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By A Correspondent- A Harare man is suing Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga over unlawful arrest after he was detained for two nights for buying whisky at a local supermarket.

According to the lawyers, sometime in April 2023, at around 4pm, their client went into a TM Pick n Pay supermarket at Joina City to buy liquor.

He went to the liquor section and bought a bottle of whisky.

However, a TM Pick n Pay security guard Stanford Nyamukoroso approached Chikawa and told him that he was not supposed to be in  the supermarket.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) who are representing the man said their client queried why he was not allowed, but Nyamukoroso said his decision could not be queried.

The cashier at the liquor store pleaded with Nyamukoroso to let Chikawa buy the whisky.

“Subsequently, the moment our client left the counter, Nyamukoroso grabbed our client by the waist holding him by his belt and pulled him into a private room where he handcuffed our client,” the ZLHR wrote to Matanga in their notice to sue for wrongful arrest.

“He subsequently advised our client that he was going to sleep in police cells that day because our client had bought from the TM Pick n Pay supermarket against Nyamukoroso’s will.

“Nyamukoroso took our client to Harare Central Police Station where our client was charged with disorderly conduct by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers.

Police at Harare Central Police Station ordered Chikawa to pay a fine for disorderly conduct, but he refused, protesting that he had not committed any offence.

“Our client was detained at Harare Central Police Station for two days and on the second day he was taken to court on charges of disorderly conduct,” the lawyers said.

“Suffice to mention that in May 2023, our client was acquitted of the charges of disorderly conduct by the Harare Magistrates Court. At all material times, the ZRP police officers at Harare Central Police Station, who charged our client with disorderly conduct and detained our client, were acting within the course and scope of their employment with you and as such you are vicariously liable to compensate our client.

“The arrest and subsequent detention of our client by ZRP officers is unlawful and wrongful in that there was no basis at all for entertaining a reasonable suspicion that our client had committed the offence of disorderly conduct at TM Pick n Pay Joina City branch.”

“Please be advised of our client’s intention to sue for damages in terms of the State Liabilities Act. Damages to be claimed include damages for unlawful arrest and detention. The quantum of the damages sought will be computed in due course and to be furnished in the summons commencing action,” wrote ZLHR.