A GWANDA man is suing the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) and three individual police officers based at the Matabeleland South capital after they severely tortured him following his arrest on allegations of trespassing.
Thabo Mokuele, who was drunk, was arrested in the town on 27 January this year after he was spotted wondering around the neighbourhood.
He was immediately taken to Gwanda central police station where he was interrogated by several officers including the three accused ones, only identified as Sibanda, Mahunje and Moyo.
The officers accused Mokuele of being behind all pending theft cases in the town.
While in police custody, Mokuele was severely assaulted with a wooden plank on his back and under the feet as well as on the head until he started bleeding from the ear.
“After some time our client was made to sit while police officers used a bottle to hit him on his hands, ankles and knees. Further, a bridge was made using tables in the office and a mine drill was put at the back of our client’s knees and he was suspended in mid-air for more than an hour till his feet were terribly sore and his body temperature was uncontrollably rising,” lawyers said in a letter addressed to police Commissioner General, Augustine Chihuri, and Home Affairs Minister, Kembo Mohadi.
After sustaining the injuries, Mokuele was taken to court on January 29 where he was warned and cautioned by the magistrate.
Immediately after the magistrate’s ruling, Mokuele filed a report against the police which was recorded as CR 69-05-15.
According to the letter written by Bulawayo-based lawyer, Lizwe Jamela, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) are in “possession of a copy of a medical affidavit that confirms that on 30 January 2015 Mokuele was still discharging blood through the right ear”.
Jamela said the “original copy was handed over to Assistant Inspector Harawa who is investigating this case”.
He added: “We would want to bring this matter to your immediate attention in order to bring all the culprits in the matter to book. We believe that the conduct alleged against your officers brings the whole police institution into disrepute and proper remedial action should be taken to render justice to our client”.
The police have yet to respond to the letter.
ZLHR have previously successfully sued officers including Chihuri on behalf of victims of police brutality.