The 2008 political violence has returned to haunt three Zanu PF activists who have been slapped with a $6 000 compensation order by the High Court.
The trio failed to defend a claim filed by an MDC supporter whom they assaulted before they damaged his property. They were accusing him of supporting an opposition party.
The incident occurred before the 2008 presidential election runoff in June. High Court judge Justice Ester Muremba, entered a default judgement in favour of the applicant, Meeting Mugumba, after respondents, Gibson Matimura, Douglas Bhobho and Edward Chiunye failed to defend themselves against the claim. All the three men reside in Mount Darwin under Chief Matope.
According to the court papers, on May 8 2008 at around 11am, Mugumba (63) attended a Zanu PF meeting organised by the three men where he was accused of supporting an opposition party.
“I did not deny the allegations as I believed that I had a right to join a political party of my choice,” Mugumba said in his supporting affidavit.
Mugumba, who was represented by the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum, said Matimura, Bhobho and Chiunye immediately took turns to assault him all over the body with thick sticks while his head was pinned to the ground.
“The 1st respondent [Matimura] eventually took over the assault after he felt that the rest of the group were being lenient with me. I suffered excruciating pain and had to lean on my wife as we walked back home after the meeting,” Mugumba said.
“As a direct result of the assault, I sustained a fractured arm as well as bruises on various parts of my body as will appear in the medical affidavit by Dr Maxman Fundayi Gova. The X-ray is from Avenues Clinic and it shows the extent of my fracture and the metal that was inserted into my arm to facilitate the healing process.”
Mugumba further said, as if the assault was not enough, a day after the battering the three men went to his house and threatened to repeat the assault, prompting him to report the matter at Mount Darwin Police Station, before making arrangements for his family to seek refuge in Chinhoyi.
“While I was gone, the respondents damaged some of my property, namely a colour television set and a one-metre solar panel. I also found my three-piece lounge suite was missing,” Mugumba said.
As a result of the public assault, Mugumba said: “I was greatly embarrassed and humiliated because the assault took place in full view of other villagers. There was a large gathering at the meeting which comprised three villages.
“This has negatively affected my social standing in society because I am regarded as a senior citizen within my community, but the respondents, who are young men, assaulted me in front of such a crowd.” standard