Citizens sue cops

More than a dozen citizens are suing the police for assault, unlawful detention and torture.

Kumbirai Mafunda, spokesman for Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, confirmed this and expressed concern that most cases were dragging on far too long.

“It should take two months for such cases. But they are taking much longer. This shows that there is something not right in the system,” he said.

Human rights defender Jestina Mukoko, director of Zimbabwe Peace Project, brought a case against a number of government ministers in 2009 for $200 000 in damages she suffered as a result of her abduction, wrongful arrest and torture when she was abducted from her home in Norton in December 2008.

Last week the Zimbabwe Human Rights Forum named the police and the army as the main perpetrators of human rights violations, placing them in the same camp as Zanu (PF) agents of terror such as Chipangano.

“Zanu (PF) activists are leading in terms of torturing Zimbabweans followed by police and army. We discovered that torturers will be mostly working with state security agents when dealing with their political rivals,” said Abel Chikomo of ZHRF.

Mafunda said public confidence in the police force is at a low ebb due to bias and extremely low morale in the lower tiers. Rampant corruption had seen some officers climbing the social ladder mercurially.

“It’s a perception that the police are not discharging their duties professionally. That is why they are often being sued,” said Mafunda.

The most prominent cases include: Jameson Timba, Minister of State in Prime Minister’s office, last August filed a $250,000 lawsuit against police Chief Augustine Chihuri, for unlawful arrest and inhuman treatment during detention.

Businessman, farmer and former Zimbabwe men’s national football team fitness trainer, Temba Mliswa, and five others have demanded nearly $500 000 compensation from Chihuri for unlawful detention and malicious prosecution.

Harare City Council is considering suing ZRP for invading an open space near Harare Central Police station and converting it into a flea market that has since been approved by Chihuri.

Post published in: News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *