LAWYERS representing the Kusena brothers Ã¢â‚¬â€ Pikirayi and Onesai Ã¢â‚¬â€ and their nephew, John Gwite, who were brutally assaulted by jailed ex-police chief superintendent, Joseph Chani, at the Chiadzwa diamond fields in September last year have served the former top cop with compensation demand letters for injuries sustained during the attacks.
Barely 24 hours after High Court Judge, Justice Hlekani Mwayera, sentenced Chani to 18 years imprisonment for the murder of Tsorosai Kusena last Thursday, Mrs Peggy Tavagadza of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights visited Chani at the Mutare Remand Prison shortly before he was taken to Chikurubi Maximum Prison and served him with the letters of demand.
However, Chani did not accept the letters.
"We visited him at the remand prison last Friday with the intention of serving him with the letters, but he refused to take them. As it stands, we will do so by way of summons. He will receive the summons in the shortest possible time," she said.
In the three letters of demand - copies of which this paper has in possession - Onesai, Pikirayi and Gwite are demanding a total of $25 000 from Chani being damages for pain and suffering they endured during the assaults.
The letters dated July 6, 2012 chronicled the assaults that were inflicted on the complainants and the extent of the injuries sustained.
In Onesai's letter of demand, who is claiming $15 000 from Chani, Mrs Tavagadza wrote: "Ã¢â‚¬Â¦Joseph Chani, you assaulted our client with a stick on his lower hip and buttocks.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“As a result of this unlawful assault, our client sustained the following injuries; blebs on the area above the lamboscaral region with all buttocks being hyper pigmented and showing signs of inflammation. The extent of injuries you caused on our client may lead to kidney damage and as such has potential danger to life.
"Our client was medically examined and we are in possession of the copy of the medical report detailing the injuries that our client sustained.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have been instructed to demand as we hereby do the sum of $15 000 being damages for pain and suffering ,contumelia and direct medical expenses on or before the 17th of July 2012 failure of which we shall not hesitate to sue."
Gwite is demanding $5 000 for injuries he sustained during the assaults.
Mrs Tavagadza said as a result of the assault, Gwite sustained tramline marks on the back which are consistent with (an attack by) a tubular object.
With regard to Pikirayi who sustained bruises on the back and on both knees, deep cuts on the left leg and right thigh as well as bruises on both feet, Mrs Tavagadza want Chani to pay his client $5 000 for the injuries he sustained during the attack.
Justice Mwayera, sitting with assessors, Messrs Chagonda and Chidawanyika, slapped Chani with the lengthy jail term last Thursday after a week-long trial that saw more than 14 witnesses testifying before her.
Chani, who had pleaded not guilty, was convicted of murder with constructive intent.
Apart from the 18-year murder sentence, he was slapped with an additional three years after the court found him guilty of assaulting Onesai, Pikirayi and Gwite.
The three assault charges were treated as one for purposes of sentencing and the resultant three-year sentence runs concurrently with the murder jail term.
Ms Jane-Rose Matsikidze prosecuted, while Harare-based lawyer Mr Takesure Thondhlanga of Thondhlanga and Associates Legal Practitioners represented Chani.