KWEKWE – The family of a man who was found lying dead beside a gun inside a police holding cell at Munyati Police Station early this month has declined to bury him demanding a detailed report of circumstances leading to his death.
Report by Blessed Mhlanga Staff Reporter
Blessing Matanda was found dead in a pool of blood in a police cell on October 4.
He had been arrested and detained in connection with housebreaking and theft.
The family suspects he was shot dead by police, while the police claim Matanda shot himself with a stolen gun he had apparently smuggled into the cell.
An October 9 post-mortem report compiled by a United Bulawayo Hospital pathologist confirmed that Matanda died of shock and loss of blood from a gunshot wound on the chest.
Apparently taking a leaf from the infamous Gokwe story where a slain MDC-T activist Moses Chokuda spent three years in a mortuary after his family refused to bury him because they wanted reparation from his killers, the Matandas have now gone 20 days with their son’s body lying in the mortuary.
The family’s lawyer, Trust Maanda, said his clients had a locus standi to hold police accountable for the death of their son.
“Once a person is committed to police custody or prison his welfare becomes the responsibility of the State. Therefore, they have every right to hold the police accountable for their son’s death. What I cannot understand is how the deceased got into police cells with a gun when one can’t even get into the cells with one’s underwear on,” said Maanda.