Group assesses Nera demo's damages

HARARE - Citizens Against Violence and Anarchy Trust (Cavaat) has approached the High Court seeking the appointment of a commissioner to determine the damages caused by last year’s demonstration organised by the National Electoral Reform Agenda (Nera).

This comes after Cavaat early this year won an application for the affected parties to launch a class action against Nera.

The organisation’s trustee Elton Paul Ziki is seeking an appointment of a commissioner — within 60 days of the court order — who will assess individual claims made by the applicants.

“This is an application in terms of Section 9 of the Class Action Act (Chapter 8:17) which allows the court to appoint a commissioner at any stage in a class action to assess and collate evidence.

“The applicant’s claim is based on the damages suffered as a result of violence which took place during a demonstration held by the respondent (Nera) on August 26, 2016. The demonstration was held in the central business district of Harare.

“During the course of the demonstration, there was an outbreak of violence to the loss and/or damage of individual properties and businesses,” Ziki said.

Cavaat filed a $1 million lawsuit against Nera in June this year, which has not been responded to.

“Having failed to do so, the members of the class are, therefore, entitled to a default judgment.

“Notwithstanding that the applicant is entitled to default judgment, it is appropriate to have the damages proved and assessed. At the time of filing this application, the number of claims filed was 78 and more claims were still forthcoming,” Ziki said.

He further said the commissioner will assess the damage and then give the court a detailed report with the quantum of damages, as individuals suffered different losses and damages.

“Some individuals lost their property and businesses completely through looting, burning and vandalism leaving them with no option but to shut down their businesses,” the court heard.

Ziki told the court that a suitable person to be appointed to assess the damages must be an auditor registered with Public Accountants and Auditors Board.

In the main application, Cavaat told the court that in as far as Nera has a right to demonstrate, it should put measures in place to ensure that the protests are done peacefully.

“Notwithstanding this, there was violence during the demonstration. Some of the protestors also participated in the violence.

“Ultimately there was public disorder and a breach of peace which resulted in loss and/or damage of property of individuals who did not even participate in the demonstrations,” Ziki said.

His organisation said that the protestors were seen throwing stones, looting, vandalising and burning property, but accused the convenors of failing to take any action to normalise the situation.

“It is only fair, reasonable, necessary and justifiable that the respondent be held liable for the loss or damage of property suffered by ordinary citizens,” Ziki said.

Comments (2)

iwe ziki ko pakaurayiwa nekurohwa kwevanhu kubva gukurahundi kusvika nhasi waivepi zvino yakooo iyi haina maturooo rega hako tipinde munew zimbabwe tichakuonesa kuti uridofo

g40 - 2 October 2017

ana Ziki. unombova nemakore mangani iwe. hapana zvinozivikanwa shuwa. ndimi zvimbwasungata imi. tongai mugabe namarujata for the loss of lives, jobs, human rights, school drop-outs, rampant prostitution, and every other turmoil hovering over more than a two thirds of our population, including you nekabhero kako kemota kaunako, if ever u have one. kushamisira nhema, rubbish.

chamunorwa woye - 4 October 2017

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