Mutare woman blames police over husband's death in custody

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Detectives at Mutare Central Police Station have been accused of fatally assaulting a suspect during interrogation.

Police sources said the deceased Wilson Sabun was on the police wanted list for impersonating a police officer.

This week, Rebecca Musariri, the wife of the late man, accused the police of attempting to sweep under the carpet the murder of her husband.

Police have confirmed the death of Sabun saying they were treating it as a murder case.

“We are treating the issue as a murder case and investigations are still in progress,” Brian Makomeke, Manicaland provincial spokesman told the media in Mutare.

There were however no indications any such investigation was underway, according to his wife.

Musariri has since approached the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights and Transparency International Zimbabwe to assist. She has also written to the Attorney-General’s office in Harare.

Musariri is accusing the police of falsifying medical records so that it would appear as though her husband had suffered a heart ailment. She alleged the police were treating the matter as “sudden death”.

Sabun, 37, had been on the police wanted list since 2008 until his arrest by detectives from the police’s Criminal Investigations Department on January 15 at his home in Chikanga high density suburb.

He was taken to the police station where three detectives allegedly assaulted him with clenched fists, booted feet and unspecified weapons.

Sabun reportedly fell unconscious but the detectives, instead of taking him to hospital, allegedly locked him into a cell. He was later taken to Mutare Provincial Hospital where he died on January 23.

The deceased’s wife has identified two of the police officers that were involved in the assault as constable Ndlovu and sergeant Mlambo, both from Mutare Central Police Station..

“They started assaulting him as they arrested him and continued to assault him as they left in their vehicle,” she said.

When she visited the police station the following day, she claimed she was told that her husband had been admitted at Mutare Provincial Hospital.