Court Orders Mutare City, Cop To Compensate Nurse $9 000 For Assault

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By Staff Reporter

MUTARE: A provincial magistrate here has ordered the City of Mutare to pay more than $9 000 to a nurse who sustained injuries in 2018 after she was assaulted by the municipal cop.

Provincial magistrate Lazarus Murendo ordered Phineas Munyika, and the local authority to pay damages amounting to $9 727 to a local nurse Kumbirai Furusa.

Munyika roughed up and assaulted Furusa on July 6 2018 when he was carrying out a joint operation dubbed; “Operation Restore Sanity” together with Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) members and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers.

The operation was meant to rid unregistered taxi operators and vehicles parked at undesignated places in the city.

Furusa was assaulted while seated on the front passenger seat of a taxi, which she had boarded on her way to Greenside suburb.

During trial at the Mutare Magistrates Court, Furusa, who was represented by Peggy Tavagadza from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), told Magistrate Murendo the municipal police officer dragged her outside the taxi and she fell down and sustained knee injuries.

Two witnesses Jonathan Makanya, a soldier and George Mufunda, a municipal police officer testified during the trial as they were part of law enforcement officers enforcing the joint operation.

Furusa suffered bruises on her knees and a plaster she already had on her wrist and was supposed to be removed on July 9 2018, had to be replaced as a result of the fall from the taxi.

Her new plaster was only removed after six weeks although she continued to experience pain on her wrist.

Furusa said because of the injuries she sustained, she could not cook for her family and endured a lot of pain.

In his ruling, Magistrate Murendo held Munyika accountable for causing Furusa’s injuries and ruled it was highly unlikely she would just fall out of the vehicle.

Murendo ruled Munyika had a duty of care towards Furusa yet he recklessly and out of over-zealousness tried to execute his duties without regard to the safety of the nurse.

He added Munyika threw caution to the wind and decided to embark on a dangerous and suicidal conduct without regard to the safety of the nurse and indeed himself.

Murendo ruled that $9 500 is payment for damages for pain and suffering while $227 is for special damages.

Furusa had initially claimed $10 000.