Police slapped with $20 000 lawsuit

HARARE - A Harare businessman has filed a High Court application demanding $20 000 compensation from the police after he was over-detained in police cells.

Last Mapuranga, through his lawyers from Koto and Company Legal Practitioners, said his arrest was “malicious, wrongful and unwarranted”.

In the application, he cited George Jaravani, a police officer from Borrowdale Police Station, commissioner general of police Augustine Chihuri and Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo as respondents.

According to court papers, Mapuranga was arrested on April 29 this year before being taken to Borrowdale Police Station facing charges of conduct likely to cause breach of peace, following claims that he spat on one of his customers.

“The first defendant (Jaravani) out of malice, then unreasonably and unlawfully detained plaintiff (Mapuranga) at Borrowdale Police Station,” part of the court papers read.

He said that Jaravani later released him and re-detained him within an hour of his release.

According to court papers, Mapuranga was only released on May 2, exceeding the stipulated 48-hour period within which a suspect has to be detained in police cells before being taken to court.

When Mapuranga was eventually arraigned before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts, he filed a complaint against the police, claiming he was over-detained. Harare magistrate Tendai Mahwe refused to place Mapuranga on remand after he was satisfied that the police had over-detained him.

The State was ordered to proceed by way of summons.

Mapuranga went on to file the current High Court application after the police failed to act on his letter of demand for compensation that he wrote in May.

“The detention was malicious, wrongful and unjustifiable for the offence in question and the prevailing circumstances. For the malicious detention and over-detention, plaintiff suffered damages in the sum of $20 000,”Mapuranga said.

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