BY BLESSED MHLANGA
Police are in the eye of a fresh storm after five cops allegedly fatally assaulted an unarmed civilian in broad daylight last Saturday in front of children and members of the public in Budiriro.
Percy Dick was buried on Wednesday following the fatal assault.
The deceased had left home for a routine medical check-up, but was never to return after the horrendous assault.
His mother Christine Chatitima was in pain when she spoke to Standardpeople. Chatitima said she was in shock that her son died at the hands of law enforcement officers.
“My son was beaten up by plain clothed police officers at Current Shops in Budiriro. What happened is the police officers blocked the vehicle which was taking Percy to see a doctor over a leg problem.
“As the team tried to ask the police to clear the way a dispute arose and my son was attacked by the police. He died at the scene,” Chatitima said in-between tears.
An eye witness, who only identified herself as Chihera, said an angry female police officer grabbed Percy by the privates and pulled him until his eyes turned white.
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“She pulled him by the private parts and dragged the poor man. We saw his eyes rolling until they were all white. This happened in broad daylight and they killed him while we watched,” she said.
The family is angry that police are dragging their feet in investigating the cause of Percy’s death as a possible cover up.
But angry community members and the family have teamed up to demand justice by putting up posters inscribed Justice for Percy, end police brutality.
There are allegations that members of the police have already tried to manipulate the investigations. The family said police attempted to attribute Percy’s death to Covid-19 and later to diabetes as they tried to cover their tracks.
Percy, a 31-year-old man, is survived by two children and a 25-year-old wife.
Angry relatives and family called on the government to ensure justice prevails and provide care for the family following Percy’s death.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, said police were still waiting for full investigations on the circumstances surrounding his death before they could fully respond.
Nyathi said that post-mortem results did not show that Percy was murdered, and therefore it would be too early to comment.
“What we have right now from the post-mortem and the allegations coming from the family are not corroborative, so we have to wait for full investigations before commenting,” Nyathi said.
Police have been increasingly using violence and force against unarmed civilians. Opposition and human rights activists, ordinary citizens, journalists and political players have been savagely assaulted and abused by the police.
Some have died in police custody, others shot at road blocks while some have appeared in court with injuries sustained from police beatings.
Percy is just but one from the growing list of victims of violent police in Zimbabwe.