By Mary Taruvinga
ONE of the victims who survived last year’s army shootings on August 1, Andy Manyeruke is demanding US$23 000 damages from the Zimbabwe National Army for the pain he endured.
The army was accused of shooting dead six protestors after a group or pro-opposition supporters went on the rampage in Harare demanding the release of presidential results.
Manyeruke, who is deaf and dumb claims he was wrongfully shot by soldiers on his shoulder in Harare’s Central Business District (CBD) on the day in question.
The victim was not even aware of what was going on in the capital until he saw sudden panic. It was too late to take precaution and was caught in crossfire.
Manyeruke has now filed a claim against Defence Minister, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri saying he contends the soldiers were acting on her orders.
“On August 1 2018, at about 16:00hrs and at the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Leopold Takawira Street, the plaintiff, who was peaceably going about his business saw sudden panic among the people around him and a rush by people who were running towards his direction,” wrote Manyeruke’s lawyers from Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum NGO Forum.
“The plaintiff then saw members of the Zimbawe National Army (ZNA), whose further and better particulars are unknown to him wielding rifles coming his way and in hot pursuit of the people who were running. Upon attempting to run away in fear of being in crossfire, the plaintiff realised at that instant that he had been shot on his right shoulder.
“The plaintiff could not hear gunshots as he is deaf and dumb but avers that the shooting was done unlawfully and wrongfully by the members of the ZNA who opened and fired live bullets at civilians in a crowded and busy CBD of Harare in order to disperse a small group of people who were demonstrating,” said Manyeruke’s lawyers.
Almost a year after he was shot, Manyeruke still has a projectile in his shoulder and requires surgery for it to be removed.
Manyeruke said he has made several efforts to get assistance from the Minister to no avail hence the decision to approach the court.
Broken down, he needs US$5 000 for past and future medical expenses. For pain, suffering, discomfort, disfigurement and loss of amenities of life, Manyeruke is demanding US$17 000.