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‘MINIMUM FORCE OR STATE BRUTALITY:’ Government to pay for loss of life

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The government is going to pay the family of late UNZA student Vespers Shimunzhila K500,000 in compensation as a result of her death.

The late student died allegedly at the hands of the state, whose agents (state police) attacked the students, reportedly resulting in her death.

The late University of Zambia (UNZA) student Vespers Shimunzhila died during riots that occurred after delayed payments of meal allowances.

Her family have been suing the state for damages for loss of life.

The amount, which will also include annual interest at the rate of six per cent, was agreed as part of a consent judgment entered into between Shimunzhila’s father Davison and the State.

“The parties having agreed the terms in which a judgment should be made and consenting to a judgment being drawn up in such terms as hereafter provided.

“By consent it is hereby agreed and adjudged that; I) The plaintiff be paid the sum of K500,000 with interest at the rate of six percent per annum from the date of the consent judgment to the date of the final payment in full and final settlement claim.

“II)The defendant shall pay the plaintiff’s advocates the sum of K15,000 in costs,” the judgment reads.

Vespers died on October 4, 2018. A Human Rights Commission investigation established that Shimunzhila died as a result of suffocation from carbon monoxide intoxication.

According to the Commission, Police were seen driving to UNZA premises around midnight on 4th October, with gunshots heard on campus.

It is reported the officers were seen throwing suspected handheld grenades and firing tear gas canisters into student rooms.

Six of the rooms targeted were gutted by fire. The incident resulted in injuries as well as Shimunzhila’s death.

One student broke her lower spine after jumping from a room set on fire, with another suffering burns as they escaped.

Shimunzhila was later found unconscious. She was transported to UNZA clinic where she was pronounced dead.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31