The High Court has ordered 13 Zanu PF activists who committed arson against members of the opposition party during the 2008 political violence to pay compensation to the victims.
Justice Garainesu Mawadze passed a default judgement following applications filed by three Muzarabani villagers Moses Nyabuda, John Savanhu and Gideon Mukoshoware, with the assistance of legal counsel, Tafadzwa Christmas from the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.
According to the judgement passed by Justice Mawadze, Nyahuda will receive $5 000 from the three activists, Mukoshoware $4 000 from all the 13 accused while Savanhu is set to be given $3 000 by six of the 13 convicted Zanu PF supporters.
Savanhu told the court that in April 2008, six men approached his home, singing liberation songs.
When he went out, he saw his neighbour’s houses in flames. He fled from his home and the accused went on to set alight his houses, destroying his property.
“I lost my entire property and valuables that were inside the house and was robbed of my livelihood.
“At all material times the respondents were aware that their actions were wrongful and unlawful since it is not a crime in Zimbabwe for one to support a political party of his choice,” he said.
Mukoshoware submitted that the accused came to his house in May 2008 and demanded that he removes his belongings from his house.
Before he could remove his property, Mukoshoware told the court that the group burnt down his four thatched houses. The houses were all consumed by fire, including his belongings.
“The actions of the respondents left me and my family homeless and I had to beg for survival. I was deprived of my livelihood and dignity,” he said.
Nyabuda said when the attackers arrived at his house, he fled, leaving his family behind and hid close to his home.
He said he heard his children crying and when he came back, he saw the assailants assaulting them.
He managed to take the children away, but the activists set his home on fire and destroyed his property.