Silobela police ‘kill’ villager


BY Richard Muponde\

POLICE in Silobela have come under fire over the alleged extra-judicial killing of a villager they wanted in connection with a case of assault.

The incident allegedly happened at Cross Roads on Sunday morning when the police officers raided Moffat Moyo’s homestead looking for his now late son, Bhekani Moyo (20).

Reports said four police officers raided the homestead at dawn and found Bhekani asleep with his brother. They woke him up, but he started moving backwards and one of the officers, without firing a warning shot, reportedly fired point blank at Bhekani’s chest and he died on the spot.

Moyo yesterday confirmed the incident to Southern Eye, saying his son had done nothing to deserve such a painful death.

“They came to my homestead early Sunday morning saying they were looking for Bhekani. They did not disclose the offence they wanted him for. Bhekani tried to move backwards and one of the police officers shot him and he died on the spot. When I questioned them about their actions, the officers also pointed the gun at me and my other son. My son didn’t deserve to die like that, he had committed no crime,” he said.

Moyo said they approached the police to lodge a complaint, but were given a cold shoulder.

“They said they could not help us on the matter. We are appealing to higher offices for help. We are going to bury our son today (Wednesday), there is nothing we can do about it,” he said.

Midlands police spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko referred questions to his deputy, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende.

“I am currently out of the province for quite a long time and am on another police assignment in Bulawayo. You can talk to my deputy, I am sure she can assist in giving you the details,” he said.

Mukwende, however, declined to comment.

“I am not at liberty to comment. Can you please speak to our national spokesperson (Nyathi). He is the one who can give details on the matter,” she said before hanging up the phone.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi could not be reached for comment.

Silobela MP Mtokozisi Manoki Mpofu (Zanu PF) confirmed the incident and said police exhibited cruelty in the way they handled the matter.

“I was phoned by one of the village heads at around 4:30am on Sunday advising me that the boy was shot. I went there and found people gathered with the body there. I found the police officers gone, but I was advised that the now-deceased was wanted in connection with a common assault case which took place recently. I was told they shot him at point blank in the chest and he died on the spot. It was cruel on the part of the police. They should have fired warning shots and arrested him,” Mpofu said.