Govt urged to rein in ‘untouchable’ police

via Govt urged to rein in ‘untouchable’ police | SW Radio Africa by Alex Bell on Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The government has been urged to rein in the police and end the impunity enjoyed by some members of the force, in the wake of the unexplained death of a Shamva man while in detention.

Matthew Mwale died in police custody on Sunday, two hours after his arrest and detention at a local police station. His father Shadreck Mwale told the NewsDay newspaper this week that he suspects foul play, after being told his son drank poison while behind bars.

It is alleged that Matthew was picked up around 4pm on Sunday at Wadzanai commuter omnibus rank by two plainclothes police officers, who claimed to be from the CID Minerals Section in Bindura. It is unclear why the 26 year old Matthew was detained.

His father was called by a local councillor to say that his son had died while in detention. He was then contacted by a police officer who told him that Matthew had drunk poison while in custody.

“I asked him how he could have drunk poison in the cell since people are searched before they are put in the cells, and he (the police officer) said that the issue was for their administration and they had witnesses whom I did not see,” Mwale was quoted as saying.

These details have come to light at the same time that people in Harare’s business district have been left reeling by a horror crash in the capital, caused by two police officers who then fled the scene. A war vet named Raphael Mbanje died after being hit by a commuter kombi, which was trying to flee the police officers.

“The vehicle was moving in reverse in Chinhoyi Street as the driver drove away from the police,” a witness has said.

“A policeman then approached the vehicle and smashed the windscreen with a baton stick. I heard a sound and the driver continued to reverse it and ran over the man once.”

“People screamed and shouted and the kombi driver panicked and continued to drive, running over the man again and killing him on the spot.”

A crowd soon gathered and demanded that national police be barred from street patrols in the city, saying council police should be given the mandate to patrol the streets. The crowd allegedly threatened to beat up police officers, prompting a call for riot police to intervene. According to local news, there was “pandemonium” as baton-wielding riot police moved in to disperse the crowd.

Harare Resident Trust Director Precious Shumba told SW Radio Africa that there is still anger among residents about the attitude of police members, saying “there is no political will to deal with the situation.


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18 comments on “Govt urged to rein in ‘untouchable’ police
  1. tryrer says:

    and when it is said zimbabwe is a lawless country, the politicians say its a lie…

  2. Peter tosh says:

    Zim is really in a mess. Do we blame all police brutality on sanctions again? Lord have mercy.

  3. Kalusha says:

    Syllabus needs to be adjusted nothing new has been added,technology has to be introduced and heavy fines for kombies

  4. john says:

    Media Commission urged to rein in ‘untouchable ‘ journalists.
    This would make a better article that the public would identify with.

  5. ike says:

    Is it bad to expose rotten stuff? Keep it up journalists. We are tired of being told zim is under sanctions when we’re the biggest trading partner with USA. Rein in on such lying journalists instead.

  6. Changamire Dombo says:

    Im Masvingo, ZRP VID, and the City council are very corrupt,. The police in Masvingo, have become so corrupt to the extent that they just fon any kombi owner and say we saw you car picking people in at undesignated point therefore we will ticket you. They just fon any number they see on the car. They willie nillie stop crew and extorte money and say if you do not give me $20 , then l will write you a ticket for $60 and noboby will question me and you will also have nowhere to appeal. The Masvingo council have become so partisan that they arrest others and leave other kombies as ‘untouchables’. Therfore all l am saying is that the government agencies in Masvingo have reached alarming levels on corruption and all misdeeds with impunity. Where can we forward the names of the corrupt ZRP ,VID and council police officers in Masvingo. Masvingo is the spot which has brought the good name of these government agencies into disrepute.All that you see in Harare, is just child place compared to what is happening in Masvingo. The Police, Vid and The council police have become a marauding gang of thieves.Where and when will this stop and bring discipline to these forces? Do these forces still have leadership in their respective areas or towns, l wonder?

  7. Peter tosh says:

    Ike, well said.

  8. SADC says:

    It buggles the mind how such open lawlessnes is allowed to prevail in any country.

  9. Johnx says:

    The whole police force needs CPR. The youths are rogue but police brutuality is not a better sin. Chihure and company shuld emulate Dr Gonorreah pliz leave public office

  10. Charles Chamunorwa says:

    Mugabe likes caotic situations because they keep him in power. Professionalism will lead to his downfall. Everything is caotic

  11. Changamire Dombo says:

    In Masvingo, at first ZRP, VID and Council have been fighting for tuff, that is, all of them were fighting to be the once in control of issuing fines to motorists. Now , the 3 partners in crime have now agreed that instead of fighting they should cooperate with each other instead. Therefore, if one drops people at undesignated points, the council will fine you, then tell you to go and also pay another ticket at ZRP. After paying at ZRP, they then refer you to VID where you will also pay. Therefore, is this not organised extortion by policing agencies. They have become rotten to the core. Now how can the kombie operators run profitably with such a corrupt environment being perpetrated by these agencies. Masvingo takes all the medals for corruption. Please investigate these crimes against business and civilians by the marauding gang of thieves from police, cid and council in Masvingo

  12. maita says:

    I said it Chihuri has sat over a police force which has lost respect. Seriously people used to feel safe near a policeman but now when you are near a policeman you are risking your life. Unokwanisa kufa kuti wasunga uchitengesa ma tomatoes mu Julius Nyerere vobva vati anwa poison. It is going to be very difficult now to have a professional police force, ne vana vedu varikupinda chipurisa tave kutovatya.

  13. Mr Mixed Race says:

    There are two cases in this article.The first one involving the death of Mr Mwale requires a full judicial inquest to establish the cause of his death.The government should act urgently to establish an inquest.
    The second case in Hre has limited information about these two policemen.What were they doing there?If they were on official duties -Why run away instead of trying to restore order?I can only conclude that what they were doing was unlawful,so they had to escape public outcry and anger.The public can no longer tolerate these corrupt police details in our streets.Its never too late for our government to control these guys if they really want to discipline them.We are prepared to help the government to expose these misguided guys within the force.I all fairness we have a few policemen who struggle to do their duties with pride and dignity.

  14. Mr Mixed Race says:

    ps-In all not I

  15. curiouscynic says:

    The way i see it if one is to be truly impartial, while the police may be to blame for the first incident, the kombi driver is fully responsible for the second. All he had to do was stop and jus practice basic driving wisdom look before reversing.

    • Changamire Dombo says:

      i think your view is ok, but its only because you are seeing or just reading these stories. Talk to police and talk to kombies then you judge. You will see that what the police wants from every kombie is just money , nothing else. So the idea if the driver trying to escape is justified give the circumstances. Remember, its not just one group of policemen that would want to take money from the kombies, they will be in excess of 5 groups per day, each demanding about $20. Then if you have already lost $50, then how can you still stop now when another group suddenly appear for more money. Then what would you have worked for on that day. If you want a fair response, actually ask the police whats going on, they are quite aware of this issue and they are just unwilling or reluctant to solve it. They know pretty well whats going on. The failure to respond by the police leadership has given the impression that this behaviour has been blessed by the authorities, no wonder why in Masvingo , the police,vid, & the council can extorte money from crew with impunity telling you that you have nowhere to report, for what they say is the final word and you the victim has no recourse through any channels. They will tell you to give them $20 or else they will give you a ticket for $60, and you will have nowhere to report. So, this silence by the police leadership is in fact complicity in these crimes and extortions. Talk to the police authorities, they acknowledge the presence of such marauding gang of thieves in their ranks

  16. ziie says:

    do we still blame MDC

  17. Tats says:

    On the issue of bribery, the person giving the bribe is equally guilt, if not worse than the one receiving it. I was once a victim of extortion & I stood my ground, told the officer to issue me a ticket for my ‘offence’. Don’t blame the police coz its us the public which is cultivating this cancer of corruption! We are willing participants but then cry foul when we fail to quench the police’s insatiable thirst for more!

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