RUSAPE magistrate, Ms Rufaro Mangwiro, has ordered the Zimbabwe Republic Police to make a $150 000 compensation to a man who sustained injuries after being mauled by a police dog in 2020.
Unity Saunyama’s initial request was for the Ministry of Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage to award him $248 755 as compensation for the costs he incurred and the pain he went through during and after the attack.
The dog was released by Constable Zwelibanzi Masuko in Rusape’s central business district and it went on to bite Saunyama’s leg as he was passing by.
In his application, Saunyama cited Constable Masuko, Commissioner General of the police, Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and the Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe as respondents.
Saunyama was being represented by Mutare-based legal practitioner, Ms Peggy Tavagadza.
In her ruling, Ms Mangwiro said the respondents did not dispute that Saunyama faced harm, which entitled him to some compensation.
However, the respondents were of the view that the $248 755 claim made by Sunyama was too high.
They proposed a compensation of $10 000.
But Ms Mangwiro said: “A claim for compensation is not only awarded for physical pain. It is also awarded for shock, discomfort, mental suffering, loss of life’s amenities and disability. Saunyama’s claim is therefore justifiable,” said Ms Mangwiro.
“In taking note of the evidence brought before this court, it is clear that various factors have to be taken into account for a proper assessment of damages to be made.
“The context of the injury suffered has not been clearly noted. However, what is noted is that undue harm was suffered by Saunyama as a result of the first respondent’s negligence.
“Therefore an equitable amount of the damages granted will be $150 000. Each party will pay its own costs and interest at the prescribed rate of 10 percent per annum from December 31, 2020 to the date of payment,” she ruled.