By Matabeleland North Correspondent
AWARD winning Victoria Falls based poet Obert Dube is suing Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe, Police Commissioner General and five police officers who assaulted him for loitering in January on allegations he had violated a Covid-19 curfew against.
Dube, who is reigning 2020 Pan African Poet of the year, said he suffered a fractured an arm and thigh and was left coughing blood after being savagely assaulted by Constables Munashe Chikoto, Samson Moyo, Njabulo Ngwenya, Nkosilathi Moyo and Shelton Mathe who were stationed at Mkhosana base on January 20.
The five cops met Dube at 10pm on the day and started beating him up with truncheons. He fled into a yard where they followed him and continued beating him even after having handcuffing him.
Dube said he was walking to assist his brother who had fallen ill on the night.
The 2016 National Arts Merit Awards (Nama) winner is being represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
Posting on its official twitter account, ZLHR said notice of intention to sue had been served on the five pending finalization of the legal
Also being sued is the officer in charge of the five cops’ station.
“Renowned poet is suing five ZRP officers for damages after they assaulted him in January in the resort town for allegedly violating a
government imposed curfew meant to curb the spread of Coid-19. The five are Constable Munashe Chikoto, Samson Moyo, Njabulo Ngwenya, Nkosilathi Moyo and Shelton Mathe,” said ZLHR.
The lawyers said police used truncheons after accusing him of loitering in Mkhosana suburb in violation of a dusk to dawn curfew.
Dube says he sustained injuries on his body and suffered physical and emotional pain as well as financial loss while seeking medical attention.
“In a notice of attention to sue served on the five police based at Mkhosana base, Dube said he will soon institute legal proceedings to
claim damages against the individual officers, officer in charge, ZRP commissioner Godwin Matanga, and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe,” said the lawyers.
The damages will be for medical expenses which he incurred in treating some injuries which he sustained, pain and suffering and other revictual damages arising as a result of the unlawful conduct of ZRP officers.
Dube was admitted to hospital following the assault.
He said after handcuffing him, the five officers took turns to slap, kick and beat him with batons while threatening to kill him.
He fractured his upper left limb, thigh and injured his back and chest, and doctors recommended X-ray on his injured upper limb and
He paid $500 admission of guilty fine. He also filed some charges against the police.
It could not be established how the case ended in court.
“I was very wrong according to the current curfew law that runs between 6pm and 6am. Police officers, four in uniform and one in plain clothes didn’t ask me why I was not at home but had to slap me. I didn’t resist arrest at all,” said Dube.
He cellphone was also partly damaged.
Dube said he struggled to get a letter of request for treatment from the police.
He holds an honorary Pan African award courtesy of renowned Kenyan Pan Africanist, orator, political and social analyst Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba and his charity organisation PLO Foundation in May 2019.
Outside the country, he has been recognised in Swaziland in 2017 at a national poetry competition sponsored by SWAMA and in South Africa where he was voted best poet at an event sponsored by Kingdom Blue in 2019.