via Police officers arrested on suspicion of murder | SW Radio Africa by Nomalanga Moyo December 6, 2013
Two more police officers have been implicated in the death of yet another person, in a space of just one week.
Carlison Chinyowa and Fedelis Gomba appeared before a Chipinge magistrate on Tuesday, charged with the murder of a suspect they had gone to arrest, according to a NewsDay newspaper report.
The two are jointly charged with Ernest Chiororo and Patson Dungunye, both members of the local neighbourhood watch committee. The four are out on $100 bail until December 18th.
It is said that last Thursday night, the four murder suspects went to arrest Barava Mashava, of Greenlove Farm in Chipinge, a suspect in an assault and theft case.
Mashava is alleged to have fled into the night only to be found dead from head injuries, just a few metres from the house.
Human rights defender Magodonga Mahlangu, of pressure group Women of Zimbabwe Arise (WOZA), condemned the use of force by the police, and called for a review of policing tactics.
“It is unfortunate that the Zimbabwean police think that they are a law unto themselves: they violate the law, and abuse citizens and lack respect for human rights. Even if you know your rights and challenge them about it they simply laugh at you.
“A lot needs to be done to ensure that we have a police service rather than a police force in Zimbabwe. We need professional officers who serve rather than use force, which is what is happening at the moment,” Mahlangu said.
Mahlangu who together with other WOZA members has been arrested, detained and beaten many times by officers, called on the ZRP to “operate within the SADC protocol on policing, of which they are a member”.
Earlier this week a Shamva man, Matthew Mwale, also died in unclear circumstances two hours after he was arrested and detained by the police.
His family has since said it suspects foul play after being told Mwale drank poison while in custody. It is unclear why he was detained or where the poison came from.
Also this week, Raphael Mbanje was run over and killed by a kombi (people carrier) whose driver was trying to flee from baton-wielding police officers.
The officers are reported to have fled the scene following the tragedy. Harare Resident Trust Director Precious Shumba told SW Radio Africa that residents were unhappy with the attitude of the police.
Zimbabwean security forces have been involved and fingered in numerous cases of human rights abuses and torture. Recently, a dossier submitted to a South African court by some civil rights campaigners detailed how the army and police officers of all ranks, systematically tortured civilians during ZANU PF’s land grab campaign.
In the 1980s, Zimbabwe’s security forces were also instrumental in another of ZANU PF’s torture and killing sprees, carried out in the Midlands and Matebeleland regions.