Police dogs maul protesters

HARARE - Police indiscriminately arrested people and allegedly set their dogs on them after conducting door-to-door raids in the Harare suburbs of Mabvuku, Zimre Park and Epworth in the aftermath of Monday’s riots, a Harare magistrate heard yesterday.

Human rights lawyers who appeared before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts representing the suspected 105 rioters spoke of harrowing experiences that their clients endured at the hands of law enforcement agents then.

According to the lawyers, including Trust Manda, Arnold Taruvinga, Obey Shava, Gift Mtisi and Jeremiah Bhamu, dogs were set on the suspects — who up to yesterday were still to receive medical attention, notwithstanding their wounds.

“The accused persons were fed to dogs by police and two of those who suffered the attack are juveniles of school-going age.

“Some of them were fortunately hospitalised but the only form of medical attention they got was bandages.

“Further to that, the police officers knowing fully well that the accused persons had been attacked by dogs never made any effort to ensure they were treated for rabies,” Bhamu said.

About 10 of the accused persons who were mauled by the police dogs stood before Harare provincial magistrate, Vakayi Chikwekwe, and displayed their wounds and blood-stained clothes.

“Accused 10, Gradual Chareka, is immobilised and cannot stand on his own. Their condition is grave and requires further medical attention. They are being kept under degrading and inhuman detention conditions,” Bhamu added, also raising concern about how the police had detained some minors.

“Section 18 (1) (i) of the Constitution speaks for the rights of children and that their detention should only be a measure of last resort. They ought to have been kept from prison.

“We would also want it put on record that from July 4 to date, the accused persons were not allowed access to food,” he said.

Prosecutor Molleen Mutamangira opposed the bail applications of the accused, which was postponed to today.

“If released the accused persons are likely to commit similar offences and their case is made worse by the fact that they attacked law enforcement agents. They should not be released on bail,” Murahwa said.

National Vendors Union chairperson, Sten Zvorwadza, who addressed relatives of the accused persons after the court sitting, expressed concern over the conduct of police.

“What the police did clearly defies the rule of law. People are supposed to depend on them for protection but in the Zimbabwean case they are actually the architects of terror. What they do not know is that what they have started may actually fuel civil unrest,” Zvorwadza said.

According to State papers, police received a tip-off that protestors from Greater Harare Association for Commuter omnibuses were demonstrating in Epworth, Zimre Park and Mabvuku.

The demonstrators also allegedly forced passengers to disembark from commuter omnibuses and police moved in to calm the situation.

The court also heard that the accused persons also allegedly began charging at the cops, throwing stones and threatening them with death.

A number of police officers who sustained injuries from the attacks are said to be still receiving medical attention.

Comments (7)

there are consequences to riots,if yu participate in them also expect the police to be heavy handed as the constitution allows freedom to demonstrate and not to cause destruction,kudos to the police for defending our right to peace which cannot be trumped by a priviledge to southafrican crips,bakedbeans mayonaisse etc

truth - 7 July 2016

People, but especially Zimbabweans are non prone to taking the law into their own hands and challenging authorities and it isn't something I would normally condone. However, the people of Zimbabwe are resorting to these drastic measures simply because they are tired and totally worn out by all the lies, stolen elections, corruption and gross mismanagement of Government all things that have led to a near total collapse of our economy. The oppression now is far worse than what we ever suffered under the white colonial regime and people are now desperate for change and tired of bargaining and listening to false and empty promises. The time for change has come. No more elections under the authority of ZANU PF because we all know what will happen.

Mbewa - 7 July 2016

Truth or Stupidity?

Ishe Nehoreka - 7 July 2016

If truth be told, the writer said INDISCRIMINATELY, meaning anyone could have been arrested should they have been on the wrong place at the wrong time. This happens to anyone and it is called victims of circumstances, I hope the Truth guy finds himself in such.

Ziggy Zigawo - 7 July 2016

Some section of the zimbabwean society has gone beyond moral limits to think they can run the country from the back door through strikes and protests. There is nothing wrong with protests but when protestors threaten innocent people forcing or coercing them to participate as the widely circulated messages indicated, then surely such people have gone out of bounce and the law must be ruthless on them. The fact that those so called Human rights, what ever are busy condemning the police, shows, they are purely acting on external forces, why they don't say anything about the people whose daily lives were disrupted by being forced out of buses, and road blocks. I have no kind words for these protestors, who ever they are where ever they are, this is an external initiative too bad some of our zimbabweans can even die to save the interests of our enemies. The number of people arrested is too small to my calculation in relation to the level of disturbances. I salute the Police, but I think the Police was too soft, but all the same I salute you.

tonderayi - 7 July 2016

mapurisa musapote muchirova vanhu koz what you do unto others will also happen to you.Ko maipindirei pamba pevanhu muchirova ndirini ndaikuroyai you are not clever.maiora maoko ese iwayo tione kuti gvt yacho inokurapai here

Uth maitano - 7 July 2016

The protests will not stop because people are arrested or dogs set on them. In fact, people will start defending themselves in any manner possible, including attacking intruders be they policemen or not. The hunger and anger mean that peace is slowly becoming meaningless

Sagitarr - 8 July 2016

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