One death in “revenge attacks” by police in Shamva

A report received by SW Radio Africa on Wednesday suggested that three people had died when police went door-to-door assaulting people in Shamva South on Saturday. But it has now been confirmed that it was one person who died from injuries sustained during the “revenge attacks” that happened late at night at Ashley Farm. Nine others were hospitalised with serious injuries.

The brutal attack had been ordered by a senior officer named Inspector Shumba, whose wife had been robbed of one dollar and a cellphone.

An MDC-T official who lives near the mining compound told SW Radio Africa on Thursday that at first there were rumours circulating which suggested at least three people had died, because of the brutality of the beatings and serious nature of the injuries.

Leman Pwanyiwa, the MDC-T organizing secretary for Shamva South, confirmed that the deceased was a mine worker named Luxmore Chiwamba, who was woken from his sleep after police broke down the family’s front door.

He explained that four of the seriously injured victims who were hospitalized had been treated at a private hospital in Bindura, and five are still receiving treatment for various injuries.

“We understand Inspector Shumba is under arrest and detained at Bindura Police Station, along with several other junior officers. It is not clear how many junior officers were arrested,” Pwanyiwa said.

Relatives of the deceased Chiwamba reported that police officers assaulted him with baton sticks, clenched fists, and boots. According to the Daily News newspaper police broke down the door and surprised Chiwamba who was asleep and tried to reach for his clothes. Other family members managed to escape.

The report quoted a relative who said Chiwamba cried out, asking the police why they were killing him. But his pleas were ignored, even after he started bleeding and begging to be taken to the hospital.

Pwanyiwa described police in the area as “rowdy” and accused them of being very violent in the last few months. He said they recently attacked workers who were demonstrating during a wage dispute and also “pounced on” revellers at a live music event. Inspector Shumba, who led Saturday’s attacks, is known to loot products from shops and orders them to close when he wants to.

This abusive police behavior has angered the Shamva South community and led to residents from all political parties uniting in a demonstration at the police station.

Some observers have expressed doubts that the arrested police officials will actually face trial and be sentenced, citing a culture of police brutality against innocent civilians which exists in Zimbabwe under ZANU PF. SW Radio Africa

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