Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Cop ordered to pay torture victim

By Tendai Kamhungira

A Manicaland-based Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer is set to lose a substantial amount of his salary after it was garnished by the court to pay a victim that he brutally tortured over two years ago.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), which represented the victim, who was an ‘‘A’’ Level student then, the garnish order was granted last Friday.

The organisation said that the police officer Crispen Chikazhe will have $100 deducted from his salary every month, until he manages to pay the full damages of $570.

Chikazhe was accused of having tortured Brighton Sanyanga, then a 19-year-old pupil at Pafiwa High School in Mutasa District in Manicaland Province, following a demonstration that took place at the school.

“Sanyanga, who was an ‘A’ level student …was tortured by Chikazhe who had invited him to Nyanga Police Station to answer allegations of malicious damage to property … after a demonstration allegedly staged by the students.

“Chikazhe, in an effort to extract information from Sanyanga, tortured the student physically by exposing him to electrical shock and psychologically by threatening to kill him,” ZLHR said.

Through his lawyer Peggy Tavagadza from ZLHR, Sanyanga dragged the police officer to court demanding compensation.

“In 2014, after a full trial, the Mutare Magistrates’ Court awarded damages in the sum of $570 to Sanyanga, for torture, pain and suffering, medical expenses and transport costs,” ZLHR said.

However, Chikazhe, who is stationed at Nyanga Police Station, according to ZLHR had reneged on paying the judgment debt, prompting Tavagadza to file an application seeking an order compelling the Salary Services Bureau (SSB) to garnish the police officer’s salary.

In the application, Tavagadza argued that since Chikazhe earns about $380 per month, after the execution of the order, he would be left with a sufficient balance of income to maintain himself and his dependents.

ZLHR has in the past assisted villagers from the same community after being tortured by the police at Nyanga Police Station.

According to ZLHR, in one of the cases, two Nyanga Police Station-based officers only identified as Kapfunde and Kambanje were ordered to pay $3 000 in damages for torturing hotel security guard Tsitsi Chimhutu when they were investigating a break-in at Montclair Hotel last year.

The organisation said that Chimhutu was tortured by the police officers, who were trying to force a confession in a case where $2 500 had gone missing. Daily News