Bulawayo motorist Life Chinyike has filed a $30 000 lawsuit against Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and their subordinates for unlawful arrest after his car broke down at a traffic-light controlled intersection in the city, two years ago.
Life Chinyike filed summons at the Bulawayo High Court on August 8 citing Mpofu, Matanga, the officer-in-charge of Bulawayo Central and the arresting officer Gilbert Nyamandi as respondents.
“The plaintiff claims against you are an order for payment in the sum of $20 000 being the damages of unlawful arrest and detention $10 000, unlawful impounding of vehicle registration number 83- 6998- $1 000 and humiliation and loss of dignity $9 000 and costs of suit,” read the summons.
In his declaration, Chinyike submitted that on November 21, 2016 he was driving along Fort Street in Bulawayo and he stopped at an intersection before his car broke down.
“As the robot opened, I tried to proceed and suddenly the vehicle stalled … I signalled the drivers who were behind to pass by side so that I could get out of the car and push it off the road in order to check the mechanical fault. That is when a police officer (Nyamandi) arrived as I was getting out of the car and started shouting at me…,” read the declaration.
“Immediately, he handcuffed me and started pulling me holding the handcuffs causing pain. I never resisted arrest, but the vehicle needed only a push off the road so that it could be checked. To my surprise, he took me to police station, leaving the vehicle at the same point where he said was dangerous, a clear indication that he actually knew there was no offence.”
Chinyike said Nyamandi told him that he was not a traffic officer, but was attached to anti-stock theft section and asked for a bribe so he could release him and he refused to comply.
“He then pushed me violently saying move fast, move fast, until we reached the police station. I got an opportunity to tell someone whom he said was the officer-in-charge that my vehicle was left on the road unattended to. He then ordered that I be accompanied by the 4th respondent (Nyamandi) and one Constable Nyengedere to remove it.”
He said they went back to police station where he narrated to the officer-in-charge how he was treated and he got detained for about four hours and his car was impounded.
He said the matter went to court and prosecution was declined. He said he then gave them notice of his intention to file $40 000 damages for unlawful arrest and the impounding of his vehicle.
The respondents are yet to respond to the summons.
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