Farm workers sue police

Farm workers sue police
Published: 08 March 2018
Workers at a farm outside Rusape are suing the police for alleged theft of property and abuse during an eviction raid.

Government has since reversed the eviction, resulting in Lesbury Farm being returned to Darreyn Smart after he had been evicted from the farm in June last year, along with his employees.

On his return, Smart had found the family's house stripped of furniture and much of his farm equipment and supplies stolen.

Seventy-four of his workers have now turned the heat on police, claiming between $7 000 and $10 000 in their individual capacities for the loss of property and abuse they alleged to have suffered at the hands of the law enforcement agents during the eviction.

The total claim is coming up to about $710 000.

The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, through Rusape lawyers - Leonard Chigadza and Taurai Khupe - is representing the farm workers.

Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu, commissioner-general Godwin Matanga, one inspector Nyakuedzwa and the officer in charge of Rusape are cited as first, second, third and fourth respondents on all the 74 summons.

The farm workers claim that on June 19, 2017, several police officers violently evicted them along with Smart's family, as well as anyone they found on the farm.

They contend that at all times, the police officers were acting under command and within the scope of their employment, adding that they were assaulted with baton sticks in full view of members of the public, before the police went on to destroy and steal household goods and furniture worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The claim is expected to cover destroyed and damaged goods; loss of income; pain and suffering or degrading treatment or psychological torture; as well as medical expenses.

Notice of intention to sue was entered on October 27, 2017.

Police have entered their notice to defend the lawsuit.
- dailynews
Tags: Workers,


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