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Shot women complain against police conduct


TWO women from Hwange in Matabeleland North have petitioned the Zimbabwe Republic Police to carry out investigations into incidents in which they were allegedly shot by law enforcement officers during raids on alleged illegal coke vendors.


Zulani Mudenda (46) of Madumabisa village 2 in Hwange said she was shot on September 23 by a police officer who was among a team of law enforcement agents cracking down on alleged illegal coke vendors in the mining town.

Twaboni Nyoni (25) of the same village said she was shot by a stray bullet discharged by a police officer only identified as Hove on August 25 as she was seated at her homestead and she sustained injuries on one of her breasts.

Mudenda and Nyoni, who were represented by Prisca Dube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), wrote separate letters of complaint to the officer-in-charge at Hwange Police Station protesting against the conduct of the police officers.

Dube said she was instructed by Mudenda to lodge a complaint against the police.

“We act and are instructed by Zulani Mudenda who was severely injured after being shot at by a police officer.

“Our client advised us that between 7:30pm and 9pm on September 23 near Number 2 location in Hwange, she was walking home from work carrying her satchel.

“She heard a voice commanding her to stop which she duly complied with,” read the letter.

“She saw three police officers. Without any warning one of the police officers fired his gun and the bullet hit our client in the stomach. Our client felt a burning sensation and fell to the ground.”

Dube said the officer who shot Mudenda kicked her while she was on the ground.

“She pleaded for help but her call, fell on deaf ears. The assault was only interrupted by her husband who then arranged to take her to hospital and that was the last time she saw the police officer who shot and assaulted her,” Dube wrote.

She said Mudenda sustained serious injuries on the stomach and severe loss of blood. Upon admission at a local hospital, she required blood transfusion. The extent of her injuries required specialised treatment at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.

Dube said Mudenda was left severely traumatised, fearing for her and her family’s safety.

“In light of the above, the conduct of the police officer in question fell short of the law.

“If the police officer was carrying out an arrest, then his conduct amounted to an excessive use of force in circumstances not permitted in terms of section 42 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act Chapter 9:07,” read the letter.

She argued that the police officer violated Mudenda’s constitutional rights to human dignity and not to be subjected to physical or psychological torture or cruel, inhumane or degrading treatment in terms of section 51 and 53 of the Constitution.

The ZLHR lawyer said the officer-in-charge was yet to respond to her letters.

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