By Mary Taruvinga
HOME AFFAIRS Minister Kazembe Kazembe and Police Commissioner-General, Godwin Matanga have been slapped with an $8,5 million lawsuit by a widow of a man who was allegedly murdered by police officers while in detention.
Catherine Wazvaremhaka of Chiweshe and her three children are jointly suing Matanga and Kazembe after postmortem results proved that her husband’s death was due to the assault.
Wazvaremhaka wants $3 million for her personal upkeep.
The widow is also demanding $2 million compensation for each of two of her children and $1, 5 million for the other sibling.
Also cited as respondents in the summons now before the High court are Detective Constable Hurukawa, Detective Chief Inspector Mapepeta, and the officer-in-charge of the Central Investigations Department (CID) police station in Bindura as the defendants.
The deceased is Eugene Marangwanda.
Court papers show Marangwanda was arrested last September arrested in connection with the murder.
Following his arrest on 19 September, he was taken to the Bindura Magistrates Courts where the police were granted a warrant for further detention.
He died the following day but his relatives only got to know on 21 September after Marangwanda’s brother, Dzidzo, went to the station to check up on him.
“Dzidzo Marangwanda subsequently received a phone call from Assistant Inspector Ganye who advised him that his brother, the late Eugene Marangwanda, had collapsed and died in police custody on September 20, 2020,” the court application reads.
“The body of the deceased was taken for a postmortem at Parirenyatwa hospital on the 29th of September 2020. The 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th applicants only managed to gain access to the postmortem report on or about the 2nd of December 2020.”
Wazvaremhaka is now accusing the police officers in Bindura of beating her husband up and causing his death.
“According to the postmortem report the deceased’s shirt was stained with blood, there were abrasions all over the deceased body and other serious injuries. The postmortem report concluded that the cause of death was due to severe stress due to multiple body trauma, cardiorespiratory failure, and respiratory insufficiency.
“The conduct of the 1st and 2nd defendant’s employees, including the 3rd and 4th defendants negligently caused the death of Eugene Marangwanda in that Zimbabwe Republic Police officers assaulted the deceased when it was reasonably foreseeable that death would eventuate from the assaults.”
Eugene, according to the summons, was the sole breadwinner of his family and as such after his death, they were left with no one to support them.
A full hearing is pending.