Female police recruit dies

HARARE - The family of a young female police recruit who died at Morris Depot from injuries sustained after she was allegedly assaulted by her instructor while training last November, demanded justice this week as horrific footage of police recruit beatings emerged.

London-based radio station, SW Radio Africa, last weekend beamed exclusive footage on the shocking abuse of police recruits by instructors at the police’s Morris Depot. The grim footage contains scenes where recruits are collectively clobbered by six instructors while other officers cheer from the sidelines.

The footage has shocked human rights groups. Police brutality is deeply entrenched in Zimbabwe. But the torture of recruits by instructors as an instrument of repression has added a new angle to the abuse. The bereaved family members, who said they were shocked by the footage, said the circumstances surrounding the death of their daughter, Pamela Mudzingwa, 26, in November last year, were as intriguing as the explanation given by the police to the bereaved family.

“It was a clear cover-up,” said the family spokesman. “This new footage showing the unrestrained torture at Morris Depot on recruits raises serious questions about what really happened to our daughter.”

Mudzingwa died last November after an alleged assault by her instructor, Inspector Mawone, at Morris Depot. The police cited the cause of the death as low blood sugar level, although a medical report states that Mudzingwa sustained injuries from the impact of a blunt object.

“The footage vindicates our suspicions, Pamela was killed. Where is justice for us?” said a family member. The Zimbabwean heard this week that at the forefront of the alleged cover-up of Mudzingwa’s death, were Assistant Commissioner Chris Ndebele, the Morris Depot Commandant, and Chief Superintendent Douglas Marekera, the Deputy Commandant.

In a bid to pacify the Mudzingwa family, Marekera allegedly led a delegation to their rural home at Mataga in Mberengwa last November for the funeral and offered to bankroll all funeral expenses.

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