Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE High Court has ordered the former president of the Apostolic Faith Mission of Zimbabwe (AFM), Dr Aspher Madziyire, to pay a Gweru widow more than $82 000 for fatally knocking down her husband.
The ruling by Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maxwell Takuva follows summons filed by Ms Melody Mudzingwa and her daughter, Nomsa Vanessa, through their lawyers Mutendi and Shumba Legal Practitioners, citing Madziyire and Tristar Insurance Company as the defendants.
“It is ordered that the first plaintiff’s (Ms Mudzingwa’s) claim is hereby granted as per summons against the defendants as follows: US$3 000 being funeral expenses incurred for the burial of the deceased Tymon Mangena, US$67 200 being damages for plaintiff’s loss of support and US$11 816 being damages for second plaintiff’s (Nomsa Vanessa’s) loss of support,” ruled the judge.
Justice Takuva also ordered the defendants to pay the legal costs incurred by the plaintiffs.
In papers before the court, Ms Mudzingwa said Dr Madziyire caused the death of her husband, a pedestrian, through negligence and driving at an excessive speed.
The accident occurred in 2014 along the Bulawayo-Gweru road.
“On April 1, 2014, my husband was involved in an accident along the Bulawayo-Gweru road when the defendant negligently knocked him down. The accident was solely due to excessive speed, failure to be on proper lookout for other road users and failing to reduce speed,” said Ms Mudzingwa.
Mangena sustained head injuries and multiple fractures and died on the same day. He was buried at his rural home in Mberengwa.
Ms Mudzingwa said Dr Madziyire only bought a coffin and a beast while she spent US$3 000 on other funeral expenses.
She said she and her daughter were entitled to claim damages for the loss of financial support.
“I wasn’t employed at the time of my husband’s death and I entirely depended on his income for survival. As a result of his death my daughter and I suffered actual pecuniary loss in the form of a loss of support since Mangena was the sole breadwinner in the family,” said Ms Mudzingwa in her summons.
“The current socio-economic environment in the country has seen the closure of most industries leaving most prospective workers who’re employed informally working up to the age of 70. My husband died at the age 20 which effectively means that we’ve lost the expected 50 years of support due to his death.”
Ms Mudzingwa is seeking an order compelling Dr Madziyire or his insurance company to pay her a total of $82 016 compensation for loss of support.
In his defence through his lawyers Calderwood, Bryce Hendrie and Partners, Dr Madziyire said the accident was not solely his responsibility, arguing that the woman’s husband failed to keep a proper look out for vehicles.
“The defendant disputes that he was negligent as alleged by the plaintiffs and avers that the accident was caused solely by the negligence of the deceased in that he made, without any signal, a sudden right U-turn in front of the defendant when it was not safe to do so,” argued Dr Madziyire’s lawyers. [email protected]