BY NHAU MANGIRAZI
THREE police officers have been accused of arresting and detaining a 10-year-old boy from Diana Farm, Chikerema village in Kutama over missing US$140 roadblock fines.
The minor (name withheld) allegedly spent the weekend inside Kutama police holding cells.
The boy was arrested last week on Thursday and released the same day, but on Saturday, he was reportedly picked up again by a police officer identified as Constable Mundinde, who was among the three officers deployed at the Kutama roadblock.
Reports also allege that the boy was assaulted before being taken to the police station, where he was tied on a chair.
Yesterday, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum confirmed the incident, adding that it had deployed its lawyer, Nyasha Machirori, to secure the minor’s release.
“We have secured the release of the boy from police cells without charges laid against him. The boy needs a lot of counselling after what he went through as it was traumatic,” Machirori told NewsDay yesterday.
The boy is accused of picking up a plastic bag with US$140 from roadblock takings last week, about 15km from Kutama business centre.
His mother told NewsDay that her child was handcuffed and assaulted for allegedly stealing the money.
“He came with the money and it was not used. My son surrendered the US$140 for safekeeping, but the police are saying it was more than that. They physically abused my son,” she said.
The family’s homestead is a few metres away from the place where the police officers regularly mount their roadblocks on the highway.
It is alleged that the police are claiming that the missing amount was US$300.
Mashonaland West provincial police spokesperson Inspector Margarete Chitove said she was unaware of the incident. ‘‘I am currently out of office and I cannot comment as we are yet to get the facts of the matter,’’Chitove said.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said: “I need to find out the official position on the matter from Mashonaland West province. So far, I am yet to get the details, but I need to know the circumstances surrounding the issue.”