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Human Rights Commission to probe man shooting

by Staff reporter
28 May 2020 at 07:37hrs | Views
A Bulawayo man who was shot dead by police on Saturday was buried yesterday and a local Member of Parliament has engaged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to investigate the matter.

Paul Munakopa (35) of Matsheumhlope suburb was buried at Athlone Cemetery Extension in Bulawayo in compliance with the country's Covid-19 burial regulations of having a maximum of 30 mourners at the cemetery. Although more than 30 people had arrived at the cemetery to pay their last respects to the slain Munakopa, only a limited number of people were allowed to access the graveyard. Munakopa was shot on Saturday between 10PM and 11PM in Hillside suburb but died on Sunday at about 4AM at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH) where he had been admitted for treatment.

He was shot while in the company of his girlfriend Ms Tracy Mufudzi following a high-speed chase involving a police-neighbourhood watch committee patrol unit which intercepted them after finding them "suspiciously" parked in a Honda Fit car in Malindela suburb.

Police also discovered that the couple was naked. Before proceeding to Athlone Cemetery Extension for burial yesterday, the family passed through Hillside Police Station in protest. Speaking during the burial service at the cemetery, Bulawayo East National Assembly member Mr Ilos Nyoni said Munakopa's death was tragic and should never have occurred.

He said as a legislator, his duties are mainly to craft laws and cops should be guided by a Police Service Charter which states that they should protect lives and property. "But in this case, police did exactly the opposite of what is expected from them. We even went to the police station to try and understand what really happened but the Officer in Charge there could not respond to our questions. She said she was not in a position to respond to us as that required her superiors. She however told us that they went to meet the family, I don't know how far true that is," he said.
"However, we have since engaged the ZHRC to investigate the matter. They have assured us that they will investigate the issue. We need justice to be served. So please when ZHRC officers come to you please assist them with all the information that is necessary."

Mr Nyoni said even murderers should have their day in court as opposed to be killed without a trial. He said the case was of grave concern to him considering that he also has sons who could also have fallen victim to police brutality just like Munakopa. Mr Nyoni said there is a need to have residents' meetings to discuss how to improve community policing without endangering people's lives

His sentiments were echoed by proportional representative MP for Bulawayo Ms Jasmine Toffa who said the police conduct should be condemned. She said Parliamentarians should investigate police conduct and push for their retraining if necessary.

A comment could not be obtained from the Munakopa's family as they became hostile to the news crew. A preacher at the burial service said Ms Mufudzi, needs serious counselling as what she witnessed might haunt her for a long time. In an interview, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said investigations on the matter were on course.

"I want to reiterate that the incident was very unfortunate. Investigations on the matter are in progress. We want to assure members of the public that nothing will be swept under the carpet. But I also want to reiterate to members of the public that when they are caught in a compromising position or breaking the law, they should comply with police orders instead of trying to escape," said Asst Comm Nyathi.

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Source - chronicle