Police accused of Chiadzwa murder

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MUTARE — A Chiadzwa family is reportedly demanding the arrest of a senior police officer whom they accuse of fatally assaulting one of their members and left two others seriously injured over allegations they were illegal diamond panners.

According to a post-morterm conducted at Mutare Provincial Hospital on Monday by a Dr Kasongo, the alleged victim, Tsorosai Kusena (39), succumbed to traumatic shock due to assault.

Kusena, of Betera village in the diamond-rich Chiadzwa area, died last Friday allegedly in police custody while his two brothers are battling for life at Mutare Provincial Hospital following the alleged assault.
Kusena was laid to rest yesterday at his rural home in Chiadzwa.

Tsorosai’s elder brother, Tichafara Kusena, a local councillor, confirmed the post-mortem conducted at Mutare Provincial Hospital revealed his brother died from traumatic stress caused by assault.

“The post-mortem results revealed that my younger brother died from traumatic stress caused by the beatings he suffered at the hands of the police,” said Kusena.

Tsorosai and four family members were allegedly arrested by Mbada Diamonds security guards and taken to a police post in Chiadzwa on suspicion they were digging for diamonds.

The family says the brothers were sinking a well at their homestead.

The other four — Onesai Kusena, Pikirai Kusena, John Gwite and John Chirodzo — were taken to Mutare Provincial Hospital for treatment. One of the brothers, Onesai, yesterday narrated their ordeal to NewsDay from his hospital bed.

“They (the guards) took us to some place and we were beaten all over. After some time we were taken to the police base where the beatings continued into the night,” he said.

He said his brother Tsorosai died around 2130hrs and he suspected that he died from the beatings. His body was taken to Mutare Provincial Hospital.
Chiadzwa Community Development Trust chairman Malvern Mudiwa said yesterday the community condemned acts of brutality by security agents manning diamond fields in the area.

“We condemn in the strongest terms these acts of violence against the people of Chiadzwa. These boys were nowhere near Mbada Diamonds fields,” said Mudiwa.

Since Tuesday when NewsDay got news of the tragedy, police could not comment on what really happened. On Tuesday, Manicaland provincial police spokesperson Inspector Leonard Chabata referred questions to deputy national police spokesperson Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka.

Mandipaka could not be reached for comment as his mobile phone went unanswered.

Police chief spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena promised to comment and asked NewsDay to contact him “after an hour”, but efforts to get him on his mobile phone were unsuccessful up to the time of going to print on Tuesday night.

Still on the same day NewsDay again called Chabata, the spokesperson in Manicaland Province, but he insisted only Bvudzijena or Mandipaka could comment.
Yesterday, Bvudzijena said he was out of town and thus out of the picture and referred NewsDay to his deputy, Mandipaka.

Mandipaka first asked NewsDay to contact him later, but by close of business yesterday, the deputy national police spokesperson said he had not yet received a report on the Chiadzwa incident.

“I am not aware of the incident. I will have to find out from the province, but as of now I know nothing about it.

“Maybe if you check with me tomorrow I may have some information for you,” he said.

Kusena’s family is demanding the arrest of a senior police officer (name supplied), who was once based at Mutare Central Police Station but has now been transferred to Harare. They accuse him of being the leader of the team that assaulted the deceased.