82 year old headman dies after Zanu PF torture
By Lance Guma
Rwisai Nyakauru, the 82 year old headman who was arrested and tortured by ZANU PF youth militia and war vets, died from his injuries on Saturday morning. The headman for Nyamaropa in Nyanga had been incarcerated for 25 days, alongside Nyanga North MP Douglas Mwonzora and 23 other villagers.
In an interview with SW Radio Africa on Monday, Mwonzora confirmed the death, saying headman Nyakauru was arrested on the 14th February by ZANU PF militants at the Taziwa Hotel and brutally assaulted in one of the rooms. The war vets and ZANU PF militia “kicked him all over the body especially the chest area,” Mwonzora said.
“When we got to prison he was very sick and at one time collapsed vomiting blood. Prison officers would not take him to a civilian hospital believing they could treat him there,” Mwonzora told us.
He said the death of Nyakauru was an indictment of the Attorney General, Johannes Tomana, whose office caused the headman to spend an unnecessary 3 weeks in custody after appealing his bail.
Mwonzora was tied to the headman while in custody, with both of them forced to wear leg irons.
He said Nyakauru kept naming the people who assaulted him. These were identified as Wilfred Pokoto, Tawonga Mutsiwawo and Kilborn Masunungure. Pokoto especially was mentioned as having assaulted the 82 year old using a ‘safety’ shoe, that had an iron tip inside the front shoe end.
SW Radio Africa also spoke to the Nyakauru’s son, Philemon, who came to attend the funeral from Boston in the United States where he is teaching. He said his father was a very outspoken man and this created enemies for him. At the time of the interview they were waiting for Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, who was expected to come and address the mourners gathered in Waterfalls.
Meanwhile in South Africa, Remember Moyo, an MDC activist tortured by state security agents including war vets leader Jabulani Sibanda several years ago, died last week Thursday. A rival District Chair to Moyo in South Africa, Jimmy Mhlanga, also passed away within a few days of Moyo’s death. SW Radio Africa