Widow demands $540k over police $2 bribe murder

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By Mary Taruvinga

POLICE Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga and Home affairs minister, Cain Mathema have been slapped with a $540 000 lawsuit by the widow of one Onward Muparanganda who was killed in cold blood by two officers after refusing to pay a $2 bribe.

Memory Sibanda filed an application with the High Court arguing that her husband’s death has traumatised her and was left to look after their six children alone.

Muparanganda, according to papers now before the High Court, died on the spot from a fatal gunshot fired from an AK rifle by a police officer.

In her founding affidavit, Sibanda said on March 4, her husband was driving a truck towards Southlea Park with his friend, one Onward Machangara when they were stopped by two police officers.

She said her late husband was ferrying firewood.

“The two police officers demanded a bribe of $2 from him since he was using a dust road. When he refused, one of the police officers ordered the duo to lie down on the ground,” Sibanda said.

She further narrated: “The friend followed the order and lay down but Muparanganda refused. Instead, he asked his friend to stand up. The police officer threatened to shoot Muparanganda but still he did not comply.

“The police officer cocked his AK rifle and shot him on his upper back. The bullet pierced through his collar bone. He fell to the ground and died on the spot.”

The friend, Machangara, was also shot but is still alive.

Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights legal practitioner Fiona ILiff, who representing Sibanda, said the latter was now suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression and anxiety from the trauma of losing her loved one.

“She is a young mother to the deceased’s six minor children. She is unemployed and was entirely dependent on her husband for support.

“At all material times, the ZRP member who shot the deceased was acting within the course and scope of his employment with and or under the control of the defendants. As such, they are vicariously liable for his actions,” said the lawyer.

The lawyers said a result of the unlawful shooting of her husband, the plaintiff and her children suffered damages in the amount of $500 000 being damages for loss of support, $20 000 being damages for nervous shock as a result of the trauma caused to her by the traumatic circumstances of her husband’s death and $20 000 for funeral expenses.

The case is yet to be heard.