Junior officers ‘overzealous’

Police officers here have been accused of gross violations of human rights and severe torture of suspects, it has been established.

Source at Masvingo Central Police Station said that junior police officers were too ambitious and were overdoing things in a bid to impress their superiors. The reports come after officers shot and injured a student at Great Zimbabwe University last week, in a move widely condemned by local residents and human rights organisations.

Police officers also arrested Tawanda Chidarikire on November 16 and took him to Masvingo Central Police Camp where they allegedly took turns to assault him, forcing him to admit he had broken into a house in Mucheke suburb.

“The behaviour of some of these guys is very shocking. They are sometimes ruthless and inconsiderate. They took a guy called Tawanda (Chidarikire) into custody and subjected him to torture. They then stuffed papers into his mouth and took turns to assault him with hoe handles and iron bars. That is not the way you should interrogate a suspect. His medical report said he sustained swollen legs, damaged pelvis and he that was urinating blood,” said a female police officer.

Human rights groups in Masvingo have roundly condemned the behaviour of police

officers here, saying the law enforcement agents were displaying reckless and uncouth tendencies.

“We are not happy with the behaviour of members of the police force in treating civilians. We are going to put pressure on them to stop brutal acts,” said a member of Masvingo Youth Network, a pressure group based in the city.

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