Tortured soldier sues Mnangagwa for US$1.5 million

A soldier who was detained and tortured in custody for 277 days is now suing the Defence Minister Emerson Mnangagwa and two officers in the Counter Intelligence Unit of the army, for US$1.5 million in compensation.


The Daily News reports that Sergeant Wilfred Jaure, formerly with the crack Commando Regiment, was detained at the 2 Brigade detention barracks in Harare. The army claimed he leaked ‘classified information’ and ‘engaged in political activities’ but he says he was detained because he refused to carry out an undisclosed ‘classified’ mission.

Jaure was arrested on the 24th July 2008, three days before the one man presidential run-off election. At the time the notorious Joint Operations Command deployed over 200 senior army officers countrywide. They were used to coordinate Operation Mavhotera Papi, a murderous campaign that targeted people perceived to have voted for Tsvangirai.

The MDC estimates that 500 people were brutally murdered, although it’s believed the figure is many more than that, tens of thousands were tortured and raped and hundreds of thousands were displaced. The timing of Jaure’s arrest and the manner of his torture all suggest he might have refused to take part in this murderous exercise. Even his family knew nothing about his whereabouts.

In his papers filed at the Supreme Court, Jaure says he was held for 277 days, during which he was repeatedly tortured and abused. He claims Mnangagwa “personally approved torturous interrogation techniques and controlled his detention without access to courts.” Jaure was later “suddenly released without explanation on April 28, 2009 and demoted,” the Daily News report said.

Jaure described the torture he was subjected to by the two officers that he is also suing. They are Lieutenant Huni, based at the KGVI Army Headquarters and Warrant Officer Class 1 Muzira, who is based at the army’s Counter Intelligence Unit at 2 Brigade at the Cranborne Barracks in Harare.

“The torture, assaults and psychological torment was extreme. Specifically my interrogators used electric shocks all over my body especially my genitalia, hands and toes. Periodically the interrogators would also carry out vicious and sadistic attacks all over my body with various objects, which included iron rod switches and other crude implements that they could get hold off,” he said.

Huni and Muzira also used water boarding on Jaure. “I was hung upside down while my head was submerged in a bucket of water in an effort to simulate drowning. This was done repeatedly over the months and in the later stages of my incarceration I would knock over the bucket using my head. Such conduct would get me viciously attacked but this was better than the feeling of drowning.”

Jaure said: “At times when they did not use electricity they would hit my genitals with elastic bands. I was subjected to what army personnel call a ‘spare diet.’ This involves eating one meal a day, often this was just (the staple) sadza (a thick porridge) without any relish or accompaniment. I lost a considerable amount of weight as I was systematically being starved.”

Other forms of abuse he suffered included being made to wear leg irons for long periods of time and shackling his hands to his ankles and being left like that for hours. At one time those guarding him refused to allow him to clean himself for 16 consecutive days.

After his release Jaure quit the army, and is now fighting for justice. – SW Radio Africa News

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