Residents crowdfund for police dog victims

BY REX MPHISA
A BEITBRIDGE man, who was savaged by police dogs, bled until he lost consciousness as police drove around town for two hours before taking him to hospital.
Edmond Zeyazeya passed out on arrival at the Beitbridge District Hospital, where he was later resuscitated.
Relating his ordeal yesterday, Zeyazeya who is recovering at home, said he had never felt such excruciating pain nor experienced the horror of being mauled by a dog.
“I begged the police officer, Constable Edison Utete, to stop his dog, a German Shepherd, from further hurting me. The dog did not take his order and he had to remove it forcibly, only to set it on another man, I later learnt was Ben Tavengwa,” said Zeyazeya, who is still in pain two weeks after the dog bit off a chunk of his calf.
Tavengwa had his arm ravaged by the dog.
Zeyazeya and Tavengwa, both subdued captives, were bundled into the Beitbridge Urban Police van and taken around town for two hours while the law enforcement agents continued with their reign of terror.
A cross-section of the Beitbridge community has pooled resources to assist Zeyazeya and Tavengwa, who could not be treated at the hospital and are now being treated by a private doctor.
“We raised around R4 000. It’s something that befell colleagues. People from different sections of the community gave what they could,” a shipping agent who asked not to be named said.
The agent, like Zeyazeya, feared the incident was being politicised.
“Unless it’s the police who are doing it to soil the name of the government, residents took it as another uncalled for heavy handedness of the police,” another shipping agent said.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) have approached the courts demanding a refund of the $1 000 Zeyazeya and Tavengwa were made to pay as fines.
Through a court application by Patrick Tererai of Tererai Legal Practice, ZLHR said the fines by the two victims were paid under duress and should be refunded.
Tererai cited the State and Beitbridge Urban Police officer-in-charge Kenneth Mushongahande as the first and second respondents, respectively.
“This is an application to set aside a conviction and sentence wherein the two were charged by the respondent’s subordinates for contravening section 4(1)(a) of Statutory Instrument 83 of 2020, ‘Unnecessary Movement During National Lockdown’ and sentenced to pay a fine of $500 on August 1, 2020,” said Tererai in his joint application for the two.
Tererai further argues that his clients were left with no option but to pay after being told it was the only way they could access medical treatment.
He appealed to the court to institute full investigations into the horrific incident.

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