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Shamva victims sue police


Eight victims of last months police brutality which claimed a life in Shamva have initiated moves to sue the police.

The letter of intention to sue was sent to Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Attorney-Generals Office.

The victims Willard Mapuranga, Brian Gundura, Marlvin Manyonga, Tellmore Binamu, Michael Makina, Martha Chidzenga, Sophia Magaya and Darlington Mapwashire said they suffered assault at the hands of police officers during their official duties hence the decision to sue.

As a direct result of the assault and impairment of their dignity by the aforementioned police officers, our clients suffered and will continue to suffer damages. They also sustained serious bodily injuries . . . Our instructions are to give you notice as we hereby do, of the intended suit, reads the letter from their legal representatives, the Zimbabwe Human Rights NGO Forum.

The victims are alleging they incurred medical bills which the defendants must foot.

We are instructed to demand by this letter, assistance for medical treatment as some of our clients received grave injuries which are being attended to.

Some of the injuries require specialist treatment which was not being received at the government hospital where they first sought medical assistance.

So far our clients have incurred medical costs to the tune of $8 199, 58 and are still continuing to incur costs. We are also in the process of quantifying further damages, reads the letter.

Chihuri has since condemned the action by his officers saying their action was unwarranted. He also apologised to the widow of the late Luxmore Chivambo and the surviving victims of the police assault.

This incident was uncalled for and far exceeded the call of duty by police officers. Discipline was ignored and hooliganism took the centre stage. We regret it and the law will take its course, Chihuri said at a police passout parade last week.

On behalf of my organisation and my own behalf, we pay our deepest condolences and our heartfelt sympathies to the widow of the late Luxmore Chivambo, the Chivambo family, the Shamva community and the nation at large on the murder of Luxmore Chivambo and the victims of assaults by some of our own, Chihuri said.

Police officers stationed at Shamva Police Station besieged Canterbury Mine and assaulted residents in a bid to recover a reportedly stolen handbag belonging to the wife of the officer-in-charge Aspias Shumba.

They allegedly killed Chivambo during the attack, triggering a huge national outcry.

The seven police officers Shumba, Mortion Jakopo, Simon Mafunda, Michael Makwalo, Lee Makope, Benedict Tapfuma and Blessing Saidi have since appeared in court facing assault and murder charges and were remanded in custody to April 13.

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