Man sues cops for $50 000

HARARE - A Chitungwiza man, who was tortured by police officers in March after allegedly calling them “dogs and sons of prostitutes”, has lodged a $50 000 compensation claim.

Shorayi George Tambure claims he was heavily assaulted by officers in the dormitory town, who then fabricated charges after realising the gravity of their irresponsible actions.

With magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa last month acquitting him on charges of undermining police authority under the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23, she also said there was a chance the police had fabricated charges against him to cover up the assault.

In his suit, Tambure alleges that police constables Themba Mufuyana and Trymore Karungaire booted, and punched him before throwing him into a sewer-infested drainage hole where they ordered him to roll while they watched.

Mufuyana  and Karungaire later detained Tambure at Zengeza Police post.

In the papers filed at Harare’s High Court, Tambure is demanding $50 000 for pain, suffering and discomfort, trauma and emotional shock, unlawful arrest, detention and assault and medical expenses.

The co-ministers of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi and Theresa Makone are cited as first defendants.

Police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri is the second defendant, while the two junior policemen are third and fourth respondents.

Tambure’s lawyer, Kennedy Masiye of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, said the two police officers used “extreme force when such force was not legally justified or warranted”.

He said his client was “psychologically threatened and tormented during his detention  by being threatened with death and at the very least severe bodily injury if he did not admit to being guilty of loitering and undermining police authority.”

“The Plaintiff (Tambure) was inhumanly tortured during his interrogation by being poured 40 litres of cold water on a rainy, cold night and was made to wear a 20 litre bucket whilst the third and fourth defendants  beat him on his head using button sticks,” reads the High Court papers, which noted the magistrate had freed Tumbare of criminal charges.

Police had alleged that Tumbare had stated that: “Mapurisa muri imbwa dzevanhu, majaira kutora mari dzavanhu. Muri mbavha hamuna kudzidza, vanhu vakapinda basa nekumhanya (Police you are dogs, you always take money from people, you are thieves, you are not educated and your major job qualification is your ability to run).”

He is alleged to have further called the officers “sons of prostitutes”.

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