UNZA STUDENT SUES STATE OVER TEARGAS INJURIES
ALMOST three years after jumping out of a third floor window of the University of Zambia ( UNZA) hostel after police fired teargas in rooms during a riot, Everett Chongo has sued Government claiming compensation for the injuries she sustained.
Ms Chongo, a student, was diagnosed with unstable fracture on the lumbar spine, comminuted fracture dislocation of the right tibia , comminuted fracture left calcaneus and fracture of the right calcaneus undisplaced.
She wants Government to pay damages to enable her seek further medical attention in South Africa before she is permanently incapacitated.
On October 4, 2018, students at the UNZA East Road campus protested the delayed payment of meal allowances and Police were directed to control the situation.
She stated that unidentified police officers fired teargas canisters into the student hostels, which caused a mattress to catch fire combined with noxious gasses from the canisters making it difficult to breathe.
Ms Chongo stated that she was forced to jump out of a third floor window to avoid chocking to death.
She stated that following the incident, she was flown to South Africa for medical attention accompanied by her mother and Government covered the expenses.
However, she was prematurely discharged and was expected to return for review in June of 2020 to remove implants in her left foot and right ankle.
Despite several requests for financial assistance, the Government has not provided any assistance to facilitate her return to South Africa. Following her discharge, the government has not compensated the family in any way nor contributed financially towards the medical expenses incurred by the plaintiff.
Ms Chongo stated there was a high chance of her becoming permanently physically incapacitated as a result of the State’s failure to enable her return to South Africa.
She added that she has been set back a year in university due to increased personal expenses.
She stated that her cries for financial assistance from the government to facilitate her return to South Africa have fallen on deaf ears.
The plaintiff is also claiming damages for pain and suffering as well as punitive damages to be assessed by the court.
By GRACE CHAILE LESOETSA