THE Platform for Youth Development (PYD) has applauded the judgment in which a Chipinge magistrate ordered the Zimbabwe Republic Police to compensate six villagers from Chinyamukwakwa, whom they assaulted during a misunderstanding with ethanol producing company Green Fuel in 2015.
BY OBEY MANAYITI
PYD, which has been fighting for the community’s rights in terms of land and relations with Green Fuel, said both the ethanol producing company and the villagers needed to dialogue and live harmoniously.
“We have been vindicated against the police officers, who take the law into their hands without considering that villagers have rights. As a pressure group, we are guided by the Constitution and will continue to target individual police officers who abuse their power and summon them to remind them to respect the ZRP Charter,” PYD director, Claris Madhuku, said.
Madhuku said there were many unresolved issues involving harassment of villagers by law enforcement agents in Chinyamukwakwa and Chisumbanje area over land.
Police were last week ordered to compensate Samson Mugovera, Vaina Ndhlovu, Mugovera Makaza, Chipo Shiripinda, Maxwell Mtisi and Eddie Maberere. They were each awarded $500 for the pain and suffering while Ndlovu was awarded an additional $901,80 for medical expenses, Muyambo $735 while Shiripinda got $60.
In his judgment magistrate Poterai Gwezhira also ordered the defendants, one officer Mazarura, Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo and Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri to meet the legal costs of the suit.
Circumstances into the matter are that on the January 6 in 2015, police rounded up the farmers, who were tilling their land before assaulting them.
They were accused of interfering and encroaching into the disputed land, which is also claimed by Green Fuel.
After identifying themselves as officers from the Support Unit, police then assaulted the villagers indiscriminately with batons, leaving some with various injuries.
They argued through their lawyer Langton Mhungu that police have no right to act in the manner they did.