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Police sued for wrongful arrest, torture

by Staff reporter
21 Feb 2024 at 07:18hrs | Views
HOME Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga have been ordered to pay US$2 500 in damages to a Masvingo woman for wrongful arrest and torture.

Masvingo magistrate Isaac Chikura made the ruling following the intervention of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

According to ZLHR, Theresa Khosana (40) was on May 6, 2023 arrested and tortured by four police officers to force her to reveal the whereabouts of her son, Byron Chedimbwa, who had reportedly defaulted on community service.

Chedimbwa had been convicted of theft of a mobile phone and sentenced to community service.

In his ruling, Magistrate Chikura said the order against the ZRP officers only identified as constables Mavis Sibanda, John Njaya, one Mushonga and another unidentified law enforcement agent is "an exemplary award, which will meet the justices of the case".

"He ruled that ZRP officers, who testified during the civil trial of the offending law enforcement agents, appeared to have been numb as to the depths of harm their conduct had on Khosana and stated that when the law enforcement agents were testifying, they were trying to avoid accountability for their actions," ZLHR said in a statement.

The rights lawyers said Khosana was handcuffed to a chair, tortured, soaked with cold water before being detained for one night without charge.

Khosana was assisted by Martin Mureri and Peggy Tavagadza of ZLHR to sue the ZRP officers for wrongful arrest and torture.

According to the State, when the four ZRP officers raided Khosana's homestead intending to arrest her son, Khosana told the police that her son had gone to Chiredzi.

It is alleged that the police officers then coerced Khosana to disclose the whereabouts of her son by handcuffing her before detaining her.

On the way to Chivamba Police Base, Khosana was threatened with assault and untold suffering by the police officers. They also threatened to immerse her in water in a dam to make reveal the whereabouts of Chedimbwa.

Khosana spent the night drenched with water and shackled to a table and was only released in the morning without being charge.

Source - newsday
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