Evan Mawarire Seeks Re-trial In US$65 000 Police Suit

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

LEADER of the #Thisflag movement and human rights activist Evan Mawarire Wednesday filed an urgent chamber application at the High Court seeking a reset of his trial where he is claiming damages amounting to US$65 000 from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP).

The case was struck off the roll last month after Mawarire failed to appear for the hearing at the same court on 8 June.

However, seeking a new trial date, he said default in court was not wilful but was a result of an error by his receptionist.

In the application, Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga are cited as first and second respondents respectively while former Assistant Commissioner, Crispen Makedenge, Detective Inspector Edmore Runganga and a Detective Inspector Phiri are third, fourth and fifth respondents.

“The default judgment entered against the applicant (Mawarire) on 8 June 2020 be and is hereby rescinded. The registrar shall reset the matter down for trial on the continuous roll,” reads the court papers.

“As it appears on the set down notice, it was received by the receptionist on the 4 June 2020 at 12:09 hours.

“However, the receptionist did not forward the notice to me on time as I only got to realise it later after 1200 hours on 8 June and this matter had been set down for trial at 1000 hours.

“In fact, a colleague who was in court that day called and advised that the matter had been struck off the roll because no one had appeared,” he said.

Mawarire’s claim is for the payment by the respondents of US$20 000 for damages arising from wrong arrests and detentions by the respondents between 1 February 2017 and 29 November 2017 for staging demonstrations and expressing his freedom of expression.

He is also claiming US$15 000 for damages in loss of income, US$20 000 for damages of pain and suffering as well as US$10 000 for general damages.