LAWYERS representing a Beitbridge man alleging police brutality have bemoaned the inordinate delays in taking the officers to court.
BY REX MPHISA
Jabulani Mzinyathi of Garikayi and Company acting on behalf of Tafadzwa Mukutiri said he was contemplating approaching the Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga for recourse.
He did not rule out the possibility of a court application to have the suspects Sergeant Wafawanaka and Constable Shoko remanded in custody for interfering with his client and other witnesses.
Matabeleland South police spokesperson Chief Inspector Philisani Ndebele said the Police Service Charter provided for access to superior attention where one is not satisfied.
“It is indeed within the complainant’s rights to report to the Dispol (officer commanding police district) if they are not happy with the treatment by any station. There is provision also to go further until one gets to the Commissioner-General of the Zimbabwe Republic Police where one is not satisfied,” Ndebele said.
Mzinyathi said police stalled what appeared to be a simple matter.
In his letter to the officer-in-charge Beitbridge Urban Chief Inspector Kenneth Mushongahande, Mzinyathi said Mukutiri’s case was taking forever.
“Reference is made to our letter dated 26 May 2020. Our client has instructed us to write again about the report he made to the police about an alleged assault perpetrated by (Sgt) Wafawanaka and Cst Shoko of ZRP.”
“Our view is that this matter is quite simple. Serious matters like robberies, rape etc have had accused persons appearing in court within 48 hours of arrest,” Mzinyathi wrote.
He asked what the cause of the delay was considering witness statements had been recorded and medical affidavits supplied.
“Is it because the alleged offenders are police details and have separate rules and laws applicable to them? If there is something else may we be made aware,” Mzinyathi queried.
Mukutiri was a fortnight ago allegedly assaulted by Wafawanaka and Shoko for allegedly failing to adhere to lockdown regulations.
They also set a police dog on other citizens most of whom were treated at Beitbridge District Hospital.
Mukutiri was in a vehicle with Cyprian Badza, Ronald Kapfunde and Tinashe Phiri where it was alleged they failed to maintain social distance.
Wafawanaka and Shoko bundled the four into an open truck with many other people in violation of the social distance rule, it is alleged.
Mukutiri was bashed on the head with a thick stick after questioning the reason for their arrest.
After the assault the two allegedly sent Mukutiri to hospital.
Mukutiri was allegedly offered cash amounting US$800 to withdraw the case.
Complaints about police failure to charge or arrest some of their own for alleged offences during COVID-19 are seemingly on the rise at Beitbridge Urban Police Station.