MDC blasts police for fatally shooting Bulawayo man


THE opposition MDC Alliance has condemned police for the fatal shooting of Bulawayo resident Paul Munakopa (34) on Saturday evening after a high-speed chase.


Bulawayo East legislator Illos Nyoni (MDC Alliance) said residents were now uncertain of their security.

“The incident has left residents shocked and uncertain about their security. According to his fiancée, Tracey Mufudze, they had gone to see a house at Malindela which had been renovated by the deceased,” Nyoni said.

“As they drove off, they were trailed by another vehicle up to Hillside Teachers College along Cecil Avenue, when the vehicle overtook them and blocked their way. They managed to avoid the blocking and turned right into Caithness Road.”

Nyoni said the vehicle again followed, overtook and blocked them. When the deceased tried to reverse and get away, he was shot on the arm and shoulder, resulting in him losing control of the vehicle and landing in a trench.

“The couple believed that they were being pursued by robbers since the vehicle had no visible police markings and the occupants had not identified themselves as law enforcement agents. The men only identified themselves as police after the shooting,” Nyoni said.

“Is it now policy that police shoot first and ask questions later? It is crystal clear that the couple had not committed any offence that deserved such heavy-handed treatment from the police.”

Nyoni and other MPs on Monday visited Hillside Police Station for a meeting with the officer-in-charge (OIC), which did not yield any results, he said.

“The OIC denied us the audience under the pretext that she needed to get authorisation from her superiors in order to talk to us on the issue,” Nyoni said.

“Section 48(1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees every citizen of the right to life and is very unfortunate that Munakopa lost his life in the hands of those who were supposed to protect it. Section 219(1)(c) of the Constitution out of whom The Police Service Charter is derived further defines the functions of the police as, protecting and securing the lives and property of the people.”

Nyoni said the murder of Munakopa by police operatives was a clear violation of the right to life and a failure to do one’s duties.

“I further call upon Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission to speedily institute investigations on the conduct of the police operatives in question. Offenders must be brought to book,” the Bulawayo East legislator said.

Contacted for comment, Bulawayo provincial police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube referred Southern Eye to national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, who was not answering calls.

However, police on Sunday said officers and neighbourhood watch committee members who were on patrol in Hillside following a spate of housebreakings saw Munakopa’s Honda Fit parked at a secluded place in the suburb.

When they approached the pair, they sped off and a chase ensued.

The police reportedly sprayed Munakopa’s vehicle with bullets, injuring him.

He was rushed to hospital, where he died on Sunday morning.

Police said Munakopa and his girlfriend were naked and suspected that they were frolicking in the car.


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