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Bulawayo residents sue police

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Two Bulawayo residents have reportedly given notice to sue police for alleged illegal detention and torture following their arrest on theft charges.

The two, Mankazanyana Moyo and Agnes Muponda, are pursuing their cases through the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).

ZLHR project lawyer Lizwe Jamela confirmed the development yesterday.

He said Moyo was sometime last year arrested by police in Pumula in connection with a theft case.

Police allegedly assaulted her with a baton stick under her feet and slapped her on the face before releasing her.

Jamela said Muponda was arrested on January 14 this year and allegedly assaulted at the Criminal Investigation Department offices in the city.

The CID officers allegedly beat her with a plank and a baton stick under her feet and all over the body, head and face before detaining her for two days at Bulawayo Central Police Station with no charges preferred against her.

According to their lawyer, the two lodged complaints with the police, but no remedial action was taken. In a notice letter addressed to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri dated January 16 stamped by Bulawayo Police Headquarters on January 18, Jamela on behalf of Moyo wrote that his client was severely assaulted under her feet such that she could not put on shoes.

Jamela said Moyo was also denied medication during her detention.

“All this necessitated her seeking medical attention at Mpilo Central Hospital after being released. Such torture we consider to be inhumane and degrading treatment and we are thus instructed to notify your office, that we shall be bringing a legal suit against your office, that of your parent ministry as well as the individual police officers,” reads part of the notice written by Jamela.

The letter was also sent to the officer-in-charge at Pumula Police Station.

Muponda claimed she was assaulted in a similar manner by police and sought treatment at the United Bulawayo Hospitals.

According to Jamela, the medical report shows that she might suffer permanent injuries.

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