BULAWAYO resident, Edmore Moyo Makonese filed a complaint against a police officer Constable Samuel Marava for assault, torture and denial of medical attention.
BY CRAIG MOYO
Makonese filed the complaint at Njube Police Station on March 11 this year.
In his letter addressed to the Officer-in-Charge of the station, Makonese said he had left his home on March 5 to assist in a funeral programme of a fellow church member when his son alerted him that there were people who were looking for him.
“As I arrived home, I went into the house with the intention of changing my clothes and meet the police. But as I finished changing, a group of eight police officers stormed my room and handcuffed me before they ransacked the house searching for stolen property. Constable Samuel Marava claimed to have found a roll of copper wire in my bedroom and pulled out a pistol threatening to shoot me,” Makonese said.
He said he was brutally assaulted with booted feet, baton sticks while being handcuffed and shirtless.
“The police officers stopped beating me when a mob from the neighbourhood had gathered to watch the incident,” he said.
“I was bleeding from the nose and forehead, which had been inflicted by a heavy baton stick strike to my head.”
Makonese said he needed clarity on whether police are empowered to assault someone in handcuffs, and to know if a wanted person, visibly injured and in police custody can be denied medical attention.
“I appealed for assistance from officers at the detention room who promised to assist, but to no avail until the next morning when a cellmate advised me to send someone to District H.Q at Southampton to appeal for medical attention. I sent my daughter who had brought me food,” he said.
“I was advised that I was being charged with possession of mbanje and assaulting a police officer and my case was referred back to Njube. Upon being released to go for medication around 3pm at the detention room, I met with police officer from Njube, who took me to their station and later to Mpilo Hospital. It took 36 hours for me to receive medical attention under police custody.”
Makonese said he was taken to Western Commonage Magistrates Court and was charged with assaulting a police officer and possession of mbanje, after they had realised the copper wire possession charge was not feasible.
The officer in charge of the station (Njube), one Chief Inspector G Mkondo, in a letter dated March 26 this year, acknowledged receipt of the complaint.
“This office acknowledged receipt of your letter of even reference. Investigations into the matter are already underway and you will be apprised of the outcome,” Mkondo wrote.
However, Makonese said since then he has not received any feedback from the police as promised, amid concern that his matter may be hushed.