By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER Sunday Mail editor Edmund Kudzayi is demanding $500 000 compensation from the police who arrested him for possessing a camouflage umbrella earlier this year.
Kudzayi was detained and taken to court but was acquitted at the close of the State case after Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba ruled that the State’s case was an embarrassment.
He cited Home Affairs Minister, Cain Matema, Minister of Defence and War Veterans, Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Commissioner General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Godwin Matanga and the Commander Zimbabwe Defence Forces (CDFZ), General Valerio Sibanda in their official capacities as respondents in the matter.
The cited top government officials are yet to respond to the litigation.
“Plaintiff (Kudzayi) was detained in police cells whose conditions exposed him to inhuman and degrading treatment. During the time of his unlawful arrest, detention and subsequent prosecution, plaintiff was unable to go to work and lost business opportunities,” Kudzayi’s lawyers said.
Kudzayi also said at all material times, police officer identified as Chitana and Murehwa were acting within their scope and course of employment with the ZRP and ZNA respectively when they so arrested and detained him for prosecution.
“As a result of the foregoing, plaintiff suffered loss in the sum of $500 000,” he said giving a break-down of the whole amount which includes compensation for unlawful arrest, detention, pain, shock and suffering, malicious prosecution, loss of business opportunities, contumelia and cost of suit.
Kudzayi was on February 22, 2019 arrested at a security roadblock along Domboshava road near Winchdon Shops, Borrowdale by Constable Chitana and Corporal Francis Murehwa as police and military officers were carrying out a joint “stop and search” operation on motorists.
Kudzayi was immediately charged with having been found in possession of articles with military style camouflage markings but was later released on $100 bail by a Harare magistrate.
The former Sunday Mail Editor became infamous after being associated with a shadowy facebook character known as Baba Jukwa in the run-up to the 2013 general elections. The character consistently provided nuggets of exclusive information on the goings on in Zanu PF and government.