Electrocuted man demands $500 000 compensation

HARARE - A Harare man is demanding over $500 000 from the Zimbabwe Electricity and Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC) after he was electrocuted and heavily injured by a live cable that left him permanently disabled.

The man, Munashe Magwaza, has since approached the High Court seeking $505 000 in damages from the Zesa Holdings’ subsidiary.

In his court papers, Magwaza who is represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights said that he was electrocuted after stepping on live electric cables in the Msasa industrial area on his way to work.

“The exposed live high voltage electricity cables had fallen to the ground and concealed by the grass.

“As a result of the electric shock, the plaintiff (Magwaza) sustained extensive injuries, including deep burns to the lower limbs and numerous deep burns to the chest,” Magwaza said.

The court heard that, “The plaintiff went through shock and excruciating pain as he was being electrocuted to an extent that he passed out for several hours.

“Thereafter, the plaintiff was hospitalised for nine months at Harare Central Hospital.  Whilst in hospital, he was in pain and had to undergo major surgeries that include skin grafting.”

According to Magwaza, ZETDC acknowledged liability and in October 2012 paid $11 480 to him for special damages through Cell Insurance Company.

As a result of the serious injuries and disability of his limbs, Magwaza said he suffered the embarrassment of being left by his wife as he could no longer offer her conjugal rights.

“Plaintiff has suffered loss of amenities of life in that he can no longer have the blessing of any unclouded mind, healthy body, sound limbs and the ability to conduct unaided basic functions of life such as running, eating and dressing,” the court was told.

The court further heard that, “Before the shock, plaintiff was a fit person who used to work as a security guard and earning $350. He however, lost his employment whilst in hospital.”

“The defendants have ignored, neglected or simply refused to pay the general damages despite the first defendant (ZETDC)’s acceptance of liability on October 8, 2012. The distribution and transmission of electricity is the exclusive domain of the first defendant.”

Comments (1)

The definition for electrocution is to kill by electric shock. Your story would therefore seem to suggest the dead arising to claim compensation!

S N Zaranyika - 14 December 2015

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