Tortured and abused Zim teacher wins compensation

A ZIMBABWEAN court has ordered authorities to pay ZWL200 000 to a teacher who was arrested, tortured and abused by some Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers three years ago.


Munyaradzi Masiyiwa, who is employed as a teacher and is the Deputy
Secretary-General of Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe
(ARTUZ), was arrested by ZRP officers on 16 August 2019 at Market
Square bus terminus in Harare as he was waiting to board a commuter
omnibus to go to his residence. The ZRP officers mistook Masiyiwa, who
was wearing a red-shirt for an opposition MDC party supporter on a day
when the Nelson Chamisa-led party had organised an anti-government
protest to press President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s administration to
arrest the country’s worsening economic crisis.

ZRP officers handcuffed Masiyiwa and bundled him into their truck and
severely assaulted and tortured him while he lay on his abdomen with
truncheons all over his body before instructing him to make coital
movements and simulate as if he was having sexual intercourse with the
ZRP vehicle.

The law enforcement agents then detained Masiyiwa at Harare Central
Police Station in a small and overcrowded cell, where they continued
assaulting him and also denied him food before charging him with
committing public violence.

Upon arrival at Harare Central Prison after he was remanded in
custody, Masiyiwa was ordered by prison officers to strip naked and to
jump up and down with his hands in the air. While in prison, the ARTUZ
leader was also denied food by prison officers such that when he
returned to court on 19 August 2019 he collapsed during court
proceedings and was only allowed to have food at that point. He was
eventually cleared of the public violence charges on 7 October 2019.

This prompted Masiyiwa to engage Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe
Lawyers for Human Rights, who sued ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin
Matanga, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Hon. Kazembe
Kazembe, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Hon.
Ziyambi Ziyambi and Commissioner-General of Zimbabwe Prisons and
Correctional Services (ZPCS) Moses Chihobvu and a police officer only
identified as Jambaya for ZWL200 000 in damages for pain and
suffering, trauma, contumelia, embarrassment and humiliation.

During trial, Masiyiwa argued that he had been severely abused and
humiliated by the conduct of ZRP and ZPCS officers.

This resulted in Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba ordering Matanga,
Kazembe, Ziyambi, Chihobvu and Jambaya to pay ZWL200 000 as
compensation for the ill-treatment of Masiyiwa broken down as ZWL100
000 for pain and suffering and ZWL100 000 for embarrassment, affront
to dignity, humiliation and contumelia.

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