Man Who Fell In Uncovered Council Trench Wins ZW$500 000

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By Thandiwe Garusa

TRANSPORT minister Felix Mhona has been ordered by the magistrate court to pay Shepherd Chishiri, a Chitungwiza resident ZW$506 949 as compensation for negligence after he fell into an uncovered roadside trench and sustained injuries.

Mhona, through his lawyers from the attorney general’s office, said he was not opposed to Chishiri’s application and would abide by the court’s decision.

He also agreed to payment of US$1 470 as special damages to cover medical expenses which Chishiri incurred.

The ZW$500 000 was broken down as ZW$250 000 being damages for future medical expenses, ZW$50 000 for loss of social amenities in life and ZW$6 949 being special damages for medical expenses incurred.

“The magistrate recently granted the order after 39-year-old Shepherd Chishiri was assisted by Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) to sue Mhona and the city council for damages arising from negligence by the two on the basis that City of Harare and Mhona had breached their duty of care by leaving the roadside trench unmarked and uncovered,” said ZLHR in a statement Tuesday.

“In court, Chishiri said he broke his right leg and had to undergo an operation in hospital at his own expense after he fell into an uncovered roadside trench at Mbudzi roundabout along Simon Mazorodze Road in Harare on 23 February 2020 in the evening after he had disembarked from a commuter omnibus.

“He blamed Mhona and the City of Harare for leaving an open storm water drain and failing to guard members of the public from foreseeable harm. Chishiri said the storm water drain was unmarked and impossible for him to ascertain its existence.”

Chishiri said he suffered a 9% permanent disability, cannot play his favourite sport anymore and can no longer continuously drive a vehicle.