High Court Judge Justice Edith Mushore has ordered Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga to pay a compensation of ZWL$4 million dollars in damages for the death of Tinashe Choto who was shot by police in Chitungwiza during a 2019 anti-government protest.
In her judgment, Justice Mushore ordered the defendants (Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs Minister, Kazembe Kazembe), to pay the plaintiffs jointly the following sums arising from the unlawful shooting of the victim.
“ZWL$2 016 000 for loss of support for the mother Varaidzo Chiyanike, ZWL$2 016 000 for loss of support for Anenyasha Janelle Choto.
ZWL$168 000 for nervous shock and trauma arising from the loss of Varaidzo Chiyanike’s husband and ZWL$168 000 for nervous shock and trauma arising from the loss of Julias Choto’s son,” said Mushore.
Choto family’s lawyer Fiona Iliff of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said she was happy that justice had been served on a matter that took two years to conclude.
“I am extremely relieved, its been two years now, we have been waiting for this judgment and the family have really had a difficult time and finally achieved justice,” said Iliff.
The late Choto’s wife, Varaidzo Chiyanike said she felt relieved that the compensation will at least help her put food on the table.
I feel a bit relieved a bit that at least we have somewhere to start from, otherwise if Tinashe was there our lives could have been better as we were going to survive through his talent,” said Chiyanike.
“The gap left through Tinashe’s death cannot be replaced by money but this money will at least afford me and our child as well as the Choto family something to ensure we carry on with our lives,” she added.
This comes after the government recently set up the Independent Complaints Mechanism which will be mandated to look into security forces abuse of civilians and bringing them to account for their crimes.