Zupco to pay $5 000 in damages

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The arrest and detention of a fuel supplier has backfired on the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company after the High Court ordered the company to pay the victim $5 000 in damages.

The bus company caused the arrest and prosecution of businesswoman Ms Martina Mushangwe on allegations of theft of diesel worth $17 606.

Ms Mushangwe, the director of Miracle Petroleum, was arrested on December 24, 2013 and she celebrated Christmas in police cells only to be released two days later on bail.

zupcoA Harare magistrate cleared Ms Mushangwe of the theft charges but she had suffered a great deal and her name had been defamed through media reports.

Zupco took the civil route and sued Ms Mushangwe over the undelivered 12 576 litres of diesel worth $17 606. Ms Mushangwe opposed the suit and filed a counter-claim for unlawful arrest and detention. High Court judge Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo dismissed Zupco’s claim.

She, however, ordered the bus firm to pay damages for unlawful arrest and detention to Ms Mushangwe. Other claims for legal costs and defamation were thrown out for lack of substantiation.

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