By Staff Reporter
A victim of police brutality, Darlington Manjokota was recently acquitted after he was charged and convicted of disorderly conduct as police attempted to counter his civil claim for damages.
The sentence was quashed by the High Court after Manjokota engaged Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and appealed.
The 31-year-old was arrested by police officers at Chivhu Police Station in Mashonaland East province and had filed a civil claim against one Taurayi Ruzive and colleagues.
Ruzive and his ZRP accomplices on 27 October 2021 set a police dog on Manjokota at Masi Shopping Centre in Chivhu, where he had gone to buy alcohol.
“The dog attacked Manjokota on his left hand and dragged him for some distance, severely injuring him in the process before Ruzive subsequently bundled Manjokota into the back of a police vehicle and took him to Chivhu General Hospital, where he dumped him,” said lawyers for human rights representing Manjokota.
Court heard Ruzive gave Manjokota US$3 and a bottle of Betadine Antiseptic Solution in an effort to amicably settle the matter.
Manjokota, was then taken to court before he was convicted of disorderly conduct by magistrate Henry Sande on 19 September 2022.
He was ordered to pay a fine of ZW$20 000 in default of which he would serve a period of three months in prison.
Manjokota duly paid the fine to evade imprisonment.
The Chivhu resident, who was aggrieved by the conviction and sentence, then engaged human rights lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa, who on 22 September 2022, appealed at the High Court.
He argued that the judicial officer had erred and misdirected himself in convicting him when there was insufficient and reliable evidence proving his guilt.
High Court judges of appeal, Justices Benjamin Chikowero and Happias Zhou recently allowed his appeal, found him not guilty and acquitted him.