A man was shot dead by a police officer after refusing to hand over a $2 bribe, the High Court has heard.

The Harare woman is now suing police chief Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs Minister Cain Mathema for $540,000 in damages.

Memory Sibanda is also demanding the money on behalf of her six children after Onward Macharanga was shot dead on March 4 this year.

In summons filed this week, Sibanda told the High Court that her family solely depended on her husband as the bread winner.

Court papers show Macharanga was driving a truck towards Southlea Park with his friend when he was stopped by two police officers.

His truck was loaded with firewood.

Sibanda said the police said it was unlawful for him to use a dirt road to avoid a tollgate and demanded that he pays $2.

“The two police officers demanded a bribe of $2 from him since he was using a dust road. When he refused, one of the police officers ordered the duo to lie down on the ground,” Sibanda said in her declaration.

She said her husband’s friend complied but her husband resisted.

“Instead, he asked his friend to stand up. The police officer threatened to shoot him but he still he did not comply. The police officer cocked his AK rifle and shot him on his upper back. The bullet pierced through his collar bone. He fell on the ground and died on the spot.”

Sibanda’s lawyers said she is suffering from post-traumatic stress and depression over her husband’s killing.

“She is a young mother to the deceased’s six minor children. She is unemployed and was entirely dependent on her husband for support. At all material times, the ZRP member who shot the deceased was acting within the course and scope of his employment with and or under the control of the defendants as such they are vicariously liable for his actions,” said the lawyers.

She wants $500,000 being damages for loss of support, $20,000 being damages for nervous shock as a result of the trauma caused to her by the circumstances of her husband’s death and $20,000 for funeral expenses.

Sibanda is represented by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

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