MDC Alliance national youth organizing secretary Godfrey Kurauone, who spent 42 days in remand prison on charges of criminal nuisance and obstructing free movement of traffic, has filled a $2.4 million lawsuit against the State.
Kurauone, who is also Masvingo Urban Ward 4 councillor, intends to sue the Minister of Home Affairs Kazembe Kazembe, Commissioner General of Police Godwin Matanga, Officer-in-Charge CID Law and Order Masvingo, Detective Constable Muonde and the Prosecutor General Kumbirai Hodzi.
Detective Muonde and another CID officer Archibald Muyambi were the two State witnesses who claimed they saw Kurauone in Mashava blocking the road to Zvamahande on July 31.
Their testimony was, however, dismissed by Magistrate Patience Madondo before Kurauone was set free on September 10.
In the notice of intention to sue, Kurauone, who is represented by Martin Mureri of the Matutu and Mureri Legal Practitioners, argues his arrest and continuous detention was arbitrary and without just cause.
“On the 31st day of July 2020, our client was arrested by the members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police Law and Order Masvingo where he had gone for his bail reporting condition. The arrest was without warrant.
“The arrest was arbitrary and without just cause. His arrest and prosecution was motivated by malice and improper motives.
“In the premises, we are instructed to notify you, as we hereby do, in line with the relevant statutory provisions that our clients intends to sue you jointly and severally with all the police officers and other persons who participated in his wrongful and malicious arrest and prosecution as well as the prosecutors who acted on culpable ignorance and led the prosecution against our client,” said Kurauone through his lawyer.
A sum of $500 000 is being sought for damages on unlawful and wrongful arrest, $800 000 being damages for unlawful and wrongful detention, $800 000 being damages for malicious prosecution and $300 000 being special damages in the form of legal expenses incurred defending the ‘malicious’ allegations against Kurauone.
Kurauone, was detained at Masvingo Central Police Station on July 31, 2020 and taken to court the following morning where he was formally placed on remand on allegations of Criminal Nuisance as defined in Section 46 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23).
He was also charged with obstructing or endangering free movement of people or traffic as defined in Section 38 (c) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (Chapter 9:23).
Kurauone applied for bail and was denied by the Magistrates Court on August 3, 2020. He appealed to the Masvingo High Court and his appeal was dismissed on August 13, 2020.
On September 01, the State withdrew the charge of criminal nuisance before plea and on September 10, Kurauone was acquitted on the charge of obstructing and endangering the free movement of people or traffic.