A ZIMBABWEAN court has ordered a delinquent traffic police officer and his superiors to fork out about $5 000 as compensation to a motorist after the law enforcement agent wrecked his vehicle.
Titus Matava, who is employed as a Constable by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and based at Rusape Police Station in Manicaland province, impounded a Nissan Bluebird Sylphy vehicle belonging to Simba Chikaka on 01 November 2015 after he stopped him at a vehicle road block mounted between Rusape and Nyazura in Manicaland province.
Matava grabbed Chikaka’s vehicle keys after the motorist failed to pay a $20 spot fine as penalty for allegedly committing a traffic offence of not being in possession of temporary vehicle registration plates for his car, which he had recently imported from Japan, as he had no money on hand.
After impounding Chikaka’s vehicle and keys, the felonious Matava ordered him to sit on the passenger seat and then drove the motorist’s car, which he also used to chase after other vehicles.
While abusing Chikaka’s vehicle to chase after other motorists, Constable Matava veered off the road and rammed into a tree, extensively damaging the motorist’s vehicle. As a result of the accident, Chikaka sustained injuries on his head, neck and on the hip.
Chikaka through her lawyer, Peggy Tavagadza of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights filed a summons at Rusape Magistrates Court last year demanding payment amounting to $6 260 from Matava, ZRP Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi for damages he suffered as a result of the damages to his vehicle and injuries he sustained owing to Matava’s negligent driving broken down as $4 960 being the value of the car, $300 as special damages for medical expenses and $1 000 being general damages for pain and suffering.
However, Rusape Provincial Magistrate Shingi Mutiro on Tuesday 03 January 2016 awarded the motorist $4 960 as compensation for the damages he suffered.
Magistrate Mutiro also ordered Matava, Chihuri and Chombo to pay interest on the total amount of $4 960 from the date when summons were filed to the date of final payment.