Nust student sues police for $1m

A National University of Science and Technology (Nust) student has slapped the police with a ZWL$1 million lawsuit claiming she was wrongfully arrested during last year’s July 31 anti-corruption demonstrations.

Panashe Vongai Sivindani was arrested at Ascot Pick n Pay supermarket in Bulawayo for allegedly inciting public violence and she was detained overnight before being taken to court where she was granted bail pending trial.

Sivindani, after appearing in court four times without progress, the matter was placed off remand due to lack of evidence from the State.

Through her lawyer Bruce Masamvu of Masamvu and Da Silva-Gustavo Law Chambers she said the false accusations were politically motivated and they caused her emotional trauma, pain and suffering.

In summons seen by CITE, Sivindani cited the Commissioner General of the Police, the Minister of Home Affairs and the National Prosecuting Authority as defendants.

“On July 31 Sivindani was wrongfully accused of inciting violence and was prosecuted for it. The facts giving rise to this matter are that on the date mentioned above, she went to Bulawayo Central Police Station to file a report of the kidnapping of her and her companion one Abednego Shakafuswa,” Advocate Masamvu stated in the summons.

“Following the kidnapping report and the recovery of Sivindani’s car with the help of the police, which car had been taken by the reported kidnappers, she was then informed to report to the Khumalo Police Station. Upon arrival at the station, her phone was seized by the police and she was detained, unattended in the charge office from approximately 2PM to 8PM when she was located by her lawyers and was later charged with inciting violence. She was detained in cells overnight.”

The summons further read that the following day Sivindani was arraigned at Tredgold magistrate’s court where she was granted bail pending trial and was later discharged.

“As a result, the allegations, which were politically motivated, have caused emotional trauma, pain and suffering in the sum of ZWL$1 000 000. She is also claiming the interest on the above sum at the prescribed rate of interest from the date of issue of summons to date of full payment and costs of this suit.”

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