Killer-police freed to dash families’ claims


BULAWAYO - Police authorities are reportedly shielding junior officers who shot and killed two innocent civilians in Zimbabwe's biggest city this month, as no dockets have been opened against them.
Two Bulawayo men, Collin Siziba (23) and Misheck Gumbo (31), were shot

dead in two separate incidents.
Siziba was the first to be shot by members of the Criminal Investigation Department’s Vehicle Theft Squad, who said they suspected him of being an armed robber.
The police officers, driving a Toyota double cab vehicle with South African number plates, blocked Siziba’s vehicle (a BMW, also bearing South African number plates) in the high-density suburbs of the city on September 6.
Most armed robbers drive South African-registered vehicles. Siziba and his United Kingdom-based brother, who had travelled to Bulawayo to visit their relatives, feared the lawmen were armed robbers and tried to flee.
After a high-speed chase that took them to the city centre, police shot the unarmed Siziba in the neck while he was sitting in the passenger seat. His brother, who had been driving, had abandoned the vehicle and fled. Siziba died at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.
A few days later, on 15 September, police shot Misheck Gumbo, a reveller at a shebeen in Pumula high-density suburb, after he allegedly boasted he could pay them a bribe equal to their salaries.
An angry police officer is said to have taken out his gun and shot Gumbo in the chest, killing him instantly.
Gumbo’s relatives are now suing police for Z$30 billion.
“We cannot just sit and watch while police behave like a Mafia gang. They have to meet the costs we incurred in burying our relative and also compensate us for that loss,” said a Gumbo family spokesman.
Police sources this week revealed to The Zimbabwean that no docket had been opened, after authorities directed that they should not be taken to court.
“The two boys were arrested and detained for three days and released at the instigation of the provincial commanders. The chefs are guarding against a situation whereby these officers will be prosecuted and found guilty. This will then mean that their families can successfully sue the organisation, so the decision is a financial rather than a legal one. I can safely tell you that nothing will happen to any of the concerned members,” said a senior police officer stationed at the Bulawayo provincial headquarters.
He identified the two junior police officers who killed Gumbo as Constables Zivago and Arutura, both of whom have two years service, while Assistant Inspector Frank Mbano allegedly killed Siziba.
Police national spokesman, Chief Superintendent Oliver Mandipaka, confirmed that the three police officers were still active in their duties, claiming that police were still investigating the two cases.
Sources at police headquarters in Harare have revealed that more than 15 similar murders have been swept under the carpet.
“Including Gift Tandare, we have recorded about 15 such murders in the whole country, with Harare (seven) and Midlands (five) provinces recording the highest number. Nothing has been done to the offending officers and they are still serving,” said a source.

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