ZRP defends trigger-happy officer

POLICE have denied any wrong doing after an officer fired at a moving vehicle and shot a passenger in her back, along Chitungwiza Road in August last year.

In a plea to defend a $17 000 lawsuit filed by Loveness Chiriseri last December, where she is claiming damages and medical expenses incurred after suffering a gunshot wound at a roadblock, the police declined to pay.

“There was no recklessness on the part of the police officer. He was deployed to check unmarked vehicles of different types and makes that had been terrorising innocent citizens of Zimbabwe. The vehicle plaintiff was in had no number plates and the driver failed to stop when asked to stop when instructed to do so,” read the police response.

“A reasonable suspicion to the effect that the vehicle had been used in the commission of an offence cannot be discounted in these circumstances. If anything, the damages must be directed at the driver, who intentionally tried to evade lawful police instruction.”

The police who are being sued together with Home Affairs minister Cain Mathema do not deny shooting Chiriseri at a roadblock in Chitungwiza on August 19 last year, but say they acted within the law.

“There was never any random and indiscriminate shooting, the shots were fired in the air, as warning which the driver refused to take note of, eventually a shot aimed at the motor vehicle was fired, specifically to stop the motor vehicle,” the police in defence said.

Last year, Chiriseri a law student who was travelling from Chitungwiza to Harare, boarded an unregistered Honda Fit, which was stopped at a roadblock.

The driver of the vehicle did not stop, resulting in the police shooting at the car and in the process hitting Chiriseri.

She was admitted at Chitungwiza Central Hospital, where she met her own medical bills and says she was traumatised by the incident.

Zimbabwe Human Rights Lawyers are acting on behalf of Chiriseri, while the Attorney-General is defending the police.

Source – newsday

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