Police admit negligence in suspect’s death

KWEKWE — Police have admitted that they erred and failed to execute their duties well resulting in the death of Blessing Matanda in police cells in a suspected suicide.

BLESSED MHLANGA

Constable Philip Chikomichi told Kwekwe magistrate Letwin Rwodzi last Thursday at the opening of an inquest to establish how Matanda died that he had failed to execute his duties in line with laid down police procedures.

Matanda was found dead at Munyati police holding cells in October last year in a suspected suicide.

His family and 22-year-old wife Aquiline Kamanga have refused to accept the reported suicide and instead accused the police of killing him.

Chikomichi told the court that he had arrested and detained Matanda even though in his own view there was no evidence linking him to the crime he was being accused of.

“At the time there was no evidence linking him to the crime, but I had to arrest him because I was afraid the complainant would tell my bosses that I had not cooperated. I treated Matanda as a friend and put him in a cell without even booking him,” Chikomichi said under oath.

It emerged in court that Matanda had been detained in a cell which contained picks, shovels, bicycles, a bed and police uniforms and even possibly a gun which he is later alleged to have used to kill himself with.

Chikomichi told the court under questioning from prosecutor Eve Chinoda that he had left the cell unlocked because at the time he was treating Matanda as a “friend” not suspect.

“The cell was only locked by my boss when he came. This was after he removed everything that was in that cell,” he told the court.
Kamanga cried in court while asking Chikomichi why he had told her on the day of her husband’s death that she would be widowed and their son would be left without a father.

“You told me that my son would be orphaned and later my husband ended up dead. Can you explain those statements?” she asked tears streaming down her face. The inquest continues on Thursday with more police officers who were manning the police station expected to be called in.

Matanda, who had been arrested on suspicions of shop-breaking was found lying dead with a gunshot wound to his chest and a gun next to him in police cells.

14 Comments

  1. Ko mumacells mange musina vamwe vasungwa here ‘mawitness’?. Editor tiudzewo.

  2. hey. Mr editor your story has a lot of gaps. While this could be negligence at its best, or murder as alleged. You did not investigate whether this was a cell or storeroom, with picks and shovels?. how did the gun get there? And whose gun is it ?. According to forensics, whose prints were on the gun, police officer’s or deceased? This is a very sensitive and interesting case

    1. This is a report about court proceedings guys. It is not the duty of the reporter to carry out investigations about what transpired in a police cell.

  3. and the Police Commissioner is on the record saying we have the most competent police in the region.

    a police force that is partisan , that arrest innocent civilians for no reason

    a police force that kills innocent civilians because they are perceived or are opposition party supporters

  4. editor adii zvake there are gaps because the officer is lying munoda kuti anonyore zvekunyepa harisi H-Metro ka iri kunyora zvekuda kufadzana. he wrote what transpired and what was said in court.

  5. Asylum tanga waverenga anga asiri muma cells

  6. No my people, this is a clear case wherein, a police officer has abused office for criminal purposes (murder). First he admitts that he arrested him without reasonable cause to do so, as he he confessed there was no evidence connecting him to the crime. And justified the act by saying that they were friends! The question then comes to be:
    -Is such an arrest legal??
    -Do friends treat each other that way???
    -Was his conduct bona fide?
    -Was his line of action in the best interest of justice, or there is more to it?
    *He then contends that he placed him in undisignated holding cells! An act which clearly infringes on his human rights!
    -How did he predict the demise of the husband?
    To me he seems to be one who premeditated on killing him!
    He must be convicted of murder with actual intent. Or cupable homicide in the worst alternative. A acquital is would be gross injustice…..

  7. The Zimbabwean police force is at forefront of abusing human rights.they used to be the best,but now the worst.

  8. CDE CHIHURI, MABASA ENYU AYA MUCHAATONGERWA NAMWARI

  9. Guns dont stay in cells.

  10. @ Frank, I agree with you 100%.

  11. A police office did his job very well ,holding cells cannot consist of a pick , shavel, police uniform and guns .lf the complainant identified the accused munhu anobatwa for inquiries

  12. magumise fungai

    suicide victims are usually found with a head wound if they use a gun,suicide victims do not shoot themselves several times,the police officer has a case to answer

  13. vachihuri vadii zvavo blame to individualz if they is need to do so

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