RELATIVES of a Harare vendor, who was shot dead by police recently, are demanding $5 million from the Zimbabwe Republic Police as compensation.
Two other people were also killed and several were seriously injured when police tried to enforce a shortlived ban on public transport vehicles from entering the central business district on February 22.
Annatoria Kaseke, a groundnuts vendor, was reportedly shot in the chest and abdomen by the police.
On Thursday, National People’s Party leader Joice Mujuru pledged to support the National Vendors’ Union of Zimbabwe to secure legal assistance so that the victims of the shootout get compensation.
Representing the victims, Gift Nyandoro of Hamunakwadi and Nyandoro Law Chambers wrote to Home Affairs minister Obert Mpofu demanding $5 million as compensation for Kaseke’s death.
Nyandoro gave the police a seven-day ultimatum to respond or face the music.
He said the deceased left behind a husband and seven children and another additional three dependents who survived on her efforts and contribution as a vendor.
“Therefore, we are instructed to demand on behalf of our client that the deceased’s surviving spouse, children and dependents be compensated to the tune of $5 million within seven days from the date of demand, failure of which our client will be left with no option but to take appropriate legal action as remedy for the same,” reads part of the letter to the police.
“We believe this will be necessary for such a legal suit will also be on a punitive scale against your office.”
In his letter to Mpofu, Nyandoro said police were accepting responsibility, but that alone would not be enough for the deceased’s family.
“While it is heartening to note your public acceptance of full responsibility for the police’s irresponsible and reckless behaviour that has since led to the loss of an innocent life, it is our client’s view that an apology and public censure alone do not suffice in the circumstances,” the lawyer wrote.
“Justice demands that the surviving spouse, children and dependents of the deceased be compensated for justice delayed is justice denied.”
Mpofu publicly apologised for the killings by the police.