Judge slams po­lice ‘bru­tal­ity’

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Daniel Ne­mukuyu Harare Bureau

A HIGH Court judge has slammed the po­lice for ex­hibit­ing “hooli­gan­ism” and “bru­tal­ity” in the ex­e­cu­tion of their du­ties in vi­o­la­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion.

Jus­tice Hlekani Mway­era said po­lice bru­tal­ity and vi­o­lence had no place in a demo­cratic so­ci­ety such as Zim­babwe.

She urged po­lice to up­hold hu­man rights all the time.

The judge made the re­marks as she sen­tenced six po­lice­men from Shamva found guilty of fa­tally as­sault­ing a man ac­cused of steal­ing a wal­let be­long­ing to the wife of a then of­fi­cer-in-charge.

Ex-In­spec­tor Aspias Shumba’s wife re­port­edly lost a wal­let con­tain­ing $100 to rob­bers in 2012.

Po­lice de­tails were de­ployed to in­ves­ti­gate and al­legedly beat up the main sus­pect, Lux­more Chivambo.

The court found Shumba and five oth­ers guilty of neg­li­gently caus­ing the death of Chivambo.

Hav­ing found the six guilty of cul­pa­ble homi­cide, Jus­tice Mway­era sen­tenced Shumba and other two chief cul­prits— Mo­tion Jakopo and Si­mon Ma­funda to four years in jail each.

Three oth­ers, Michael Mak­walo, Bennedict Tap­fuma and Bless­ing Saidi, were slapped with a wholly sus­pended sentence.

How­ever, Lee Makope, who was part of the in­ves­ti­gat­ing of­fi­cers, was ac­quit­ted af­ter the State failed to prove his in­volve­ment in the killing.

Jus­tice Mway­era at­tacked the po­lice for their vi­o­lent be­hav­iour.

“The po­lice­men in­stead of lead­ing by ex­am­ple as law en­force­ment agents, turned vi­o­lent and in an un­war­ranted dis­play of hooli­gan­ism, cru­elly and shame­lessly as­saulted the de­ceased oc­ca­sion­ing se­vere in­juries from which the de­ceased passed on.

“The ac­cused ex­hib­ited a care-free and reck­less at­ti­tude when, de­spite the ob­vi­ous bad con­di­tion of the de­ceased, they de­tained him as op­posed to as­sist­ing him seek med­i­cal at­ten­tion,” she said.

The judge said the po­lice must know that no one is above the law and that hu­man rights must be up­held at all times.

Jus­tice Mway­era said po­lice bru­tal­ity risked caus­ing chaos in the coun­try.

“Al­low­ing po­lice bru­tal­ity would not only lead to anar­chy and chaos but will take away peo­ple’s con­fi­dence in the Zim­babwe Repub­lic Po­lice and also the jus­tice de­liv­ery sys­tem,” said the judge.

She added: “Po­lice bru­tal­ity is con­demned world over for the ob­vi­ous rea­sons that so­ci­ety looks up to the po­lice as a law en­force­ment agency to pro­tect them and up­hold the law as op­posed to abuse and in­hu­man treat­ment.”

Jus­tice Mway­era said petty of­fences like the theft of a wal­let from a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer’s wife and the sale of il­licit brew did not war­rant loss of life.

From the ev­i­dence led in court, dur­ing the raid the po­lice stormed Chivambo’s house and at­tacked him.

They de­manded to know who had robbed the of­fi­cer-in-charge’s wife.

The de­fence of ap­ply­ing min­i­mum force or self-de­fence fell away be­cause there was no ev­i­dence of any form of re­sis­tance.

Chivambo died a painful death af­ter he was kicked and beaten with ba­ton sticks by the ma­raud­ing cops.

Makokoba con­stituency Mem­ber of Par­lia­ment Cde Tshinga Dube ad­dresses ZANU-PF party sup­port­ers at Mac­Don­ald Hall in Bu­l­awayo yes­ter­day

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