Police rapists arrested

Two Mozambican policemen have been arrested in the central city of Beira, accused of raping and extorting money from a young Zimbabwean woman, reports Friday’s issue of the Maputo daily “Noticias”.

According to the head of public relations in the Sofala Provincial Police Command, Feliciano Dique, the incident occurred on 17 December when the two policemen, named as J. Antonio and J. Artur, were on patrol in the Beira neighbourhood of Chaimite. They are now facing criminal charges, and disciplinary proceedings which could lead to their expulsion from the police force.

The victim, Felista Chitumba, told “Noticias” that the two policemen stopped her at about 23.00 and demanded to see her identity card. Since she is not a Mozambican citizen she did not have one, but she showed them her passport.

This did not satisfy them, and they told her they were taking her to the Beira first police precinct. But instead of going to any police station, they took her through various city streets until they reached a stairwell in a building in the Maquinino nearbourhood.

Here they handcuffed her and raped her repeatedly. Chitumba said that one of the men would point a pistol to her head, while the other raped her. Finally, they stole 250 meticais (about nine US dollars) that was in her pocket, and told her to run away.

Chitumba sought help from other policemen who were patrolling in Maquinino. They looked for the rapists, but they had left the scene of the crime.

She was advised to present a complaint at the First Precinct, which she did. Early the following day she was called to a line-up to identify the rapists, in the presence of the station commander. She identified Antonio and Artur, and it was confirmed that they had indeed been on patrol in Chaimite the night of the rapes.

Dique praised the courage of the young Zimbabwean, and said only through denunciations such as this would it be possible to purge the ranks of the police force.


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