BY NUNURAI JENA
Lions Den resident Mavis Dangura (not her real name) will not forget December 29, 2020, the day she was badly beaten by a group of police officers from Murereka station for a crime she did not commit.
Dangura, who is six months pregnant, was treated at Chinhoyi Provincial hospital after the beatings.
“I was walking from the local clinic when I met a group of seven police officers, six of whom who were armed with batons and one of them was carrying a gun.
The one who was armed with a gun pointed it at me, ordering me to lie on the ground after which he and his colleagues started beating me all over the body despite seeing that I was heavily pregnant. They beat me until I got unconscious,” the woman said.
She said she was later rushed to Chinhoyi Provincial hospital and got treated and counted herself lucky not to have had a miscarriage.
Another resident, Thomas Chaitezvi, who encountered the same brutality at the hands of police in the same town, said he came out of the ordeal with a broken arm.
“They beat me up while I lay on the ground and they broke my left arm when I trying to block the beatings. I went to a private doctor and my hand was put in plaster,” said Chaitezvi. He said those who tried to take photos and videos of the assault were also rounded up and beaten up.
Tinotenda Bhunu was arrested for trying to take a photo of her injured mother and was fined $500 for “disorderly conduct” after spending a night in police custody.
Another police brutality victim, Kind Gunda, said the local police had beef with residents whom they accused of attacking and damaging the Lions Den police base on December 26 after some youths defied police instructions to stay indoors.
More than 100 people have been injured and Lions Den police refused to record reports by the injured, but instead allegedly further assaulted them at the police base.
Mashonaland West police spokesperson Assistant Inspector Ian Kohwera said his office had not yet received any complaints or reports from the victims. He advised those willing to make police reports to go and report at Chinhoyi police if Lions Den police refused to open dockets.
“If the victims are not happy with the service they are getting in Lions Den, they can come to Chinhoyi and make a report and if they are not satisfied, they can still go further and report to the commissioner-general,” said Kohwera.