Police accused of murdering suspects

There are chilling allegations that police eliminate wanted criminals at stage-managed field investigation exercises in the countryside, a highly placed source told The Zimbabwean.

According to the source, suspects regarded as dangerous criminals by police, would be taken to remote areas and shot dead or left with permanent disabilities. Investigating officers would claim that the suspects met their fate as they attempted to flee lawful arrest.

“Such ill-fated field investigations are common place and hundreds of suspects – mostly those accused of serious offences such as armed robbery and political activists – have fallen victim to them. Dangerous criminals with connections within the police were spared. The practice has forced a number of junior CID officers to resign or seek internal transfer to the uniformed section, as the gruesome practise was against their conscience,” said the high-ranking police source.

When The Zimbabwean visited Harare Remand Prison recently, a number of people visiting detained relatives complained about how some suspects were either killed or injured during such investigations.

“An inmate accused of committing a serious crime was recently shot in the leg as he reportedly attempted to flee from police custody at an undisclosed location. Several others sustained serious dog bites under similar suspicious circumstances,” said a concerned visitor at the remand prison.

Meanwhile, some former detainees accused plain clothes Criminal Investigations Department officers of continuing to use severe torture as means of extorting confessions from the accused.

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