A HARARE magistrate has ordered the imprisonment of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Kazembe Kazembe for 60 days for contempt of court.
Kazembe failed to compensate a Gweru student, Simon Mandoza, for $199 500 for injuries suffered following a savage assault by police officers in 2018.
Magistrate Tilda Mazhande gave the minister a two-week ultimatum to pay or he would have to serve 60 days in prison.
Mandoza’s lawyers Fiona Iliff and Obey Shava, from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, then applied and obtained an order for Kazembe’s incarceration which was granted by the court.
“It is ordered that in default, the Ministry of Home Affairs and Kazembe Kazembe be and are hereby declared to be in contempt of court in that they have wilfully disregarded the order of this honourable court issued on 20 November 2019 by magistrate Mazhande,” reads the order.
“The fourth respondent (Kazembe) be sentenced to 60 days imprisonment, the whole of which is suspended for 14 days on condition that in his official position as the Minister of Home Affairs, he causes payment of the judgment debt of $199 500 together with interest at the prescribed rate from the date of summons to the date of full payment.”
The order said should Kazembe fail to comply, he shall immediately be committed to prison to serve the sentence imposed by Mazhande.
The police arrested Mandoza on September 20, 2018 while he was standing outside a fast-food outlet in Harare’s central business district (CBD) waiting for his brother to pick him up.
He was not aware that the police were carrying out an operation against informal traders in the CBD at that time.
As a result, Mandoza was slapped by a police officer and forced to get into the back of a police vehicle.
While they were in the vehicle, the same police officer beat Mandoza with his truncheon on the shoulder and at the back of his head, while he threatened to further assault him.
He was finally taken to Harare Central Police Station, where he was released without any charge preferred against him.