Nigerian hires cops to assault ‘thieving’ workers


A NIGERIAN businessman allegedly ‘hired’ police detectives to severely assault two of his employees after accusing them of stealing money from his company in Harare.

The employees, Nomazulu Matebeke and Chipo Mangachena said they were employed by Chamberlain Okonkwo who was running Turntop Investment at 114 Harare Street.

According to Matebeke and Mangachena, their troubles began in December 2021 when their employer accused them of stealing from him.

“He went home on December 17, 2021 and he came back on January 31 this year. When he arrived at work he asked for the cash box and we showed him the cash at hand which was US$480,” Matebeke said.

“During his vacation, we raised US$33 840, US$33 360 which was sent to him through a friend we just knew as CJ. We started doing our work but he shouted. He then threatened to report us to Harare Central Police Station for a crime we didn’t know about.”

Matebeke added: “After a while, Okonkwo switched off CCTV cameras and two detectives arrived. They slapped us on the face, ears and kicked us. As a result, I now have a nagging headache.

“When it was around 10pm, they asked us to write on some papers pleading guilty to theft, inserting full names, residential address and national identity number.”

The duo reported the unlawful detention and torture at Harare Central Police, but there has been no movement in the case.

“Since February nothing fruitful has transpired. We approached CID headquarters but it didn't work. At one time, we were asked to take a bribe for the case to be closed but we refused,” Mangachena said.

“We have lost hope that justice will prevail.”

In a February 25 medical affidavit, Doctor Searchmore Madzudzo who examined Matebeke said he observed injuries, painful ears and severe headache, painful eyes and discharge from her ears.

“There might be a possibility of damage to the eardrum due to the impact applied, since the patient is not hearing well due to the assault which occurred some weeks ago,” the affidavit read.

Mangachena said she also sustained injuries but could not manage to go and see a doctor.

Okonkwo could not deny or confirm the allegations.

“You can consult my lawyer on this issue,” he said when contacted for comment.

However efforts to get hold of the lawyer Bruce Maruva, a legal practitioner at Mugwadi and Associates were futile.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi was not reachable for comment.

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