By Harmony Agere
Two police officers based in Beitbridge have been arrested for allegedly torturing to death and burning the remains of a suspect they had arrested for an alleged theft.
Constables Xander Siasayi (33) and Daniel Peyani (32) of Tuli and Zezani police camps respectively, were arrested on Friday for the offence they allegedly committed while investigating a break-in at Toporo Special Bottle Store in Zezani.
According to the police, the deceased, Blessing Nare (23), also of Beitbridge, was the prime suspect in the break-in before he was allegedly murdered.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed the incident, saying investigations were underway.
“We are investigating the circumstances in which Blessing Nare was allegedly arrested by police officers at Zezani and disappeared some days later,” he said.
“As colleagues, we don’t condone criminality by police officers, if investigations show that a crime was committed, then the law will take its course.”
Circumstances are that on 27 December, 2020, at around 0800 hours, the now deceased’s girlfriend, Beatrice Ndou (24), who is employed at Toporo Special Bottle Store, made a report at Swereki Police Base alleging that Nare broke into Toporo Special Bottle Store and stole cash amounting to R10 140 and $200.
Upon receiving the report, Siasayi and Peyani, who were manning the police base, did not record it in the report book.
On the same date around 1900 hours, Nare was picked from Toporo Special Bottle Store, where he was residing with his girlfriend, Beatrice.
Siasayi and Peyani then escorted Nare and a co-accused, Godknows Mbedzi, back to Swereki Police Base where they spent the night.
“On the 28th of December 2020 at around 0600 hours while at the police base, the accused persons assaulted the now deceased with a stick on the thighs and buttocks several times interrogating him about the alleged break-in,” police sources said.
“This they did in the presence of Mbedzi. On the same date at around 0800 hours, Mbedzi was released while the accused persons took Nare to Toporo Business Centre in a bid to recover the stolen money.
“While at the business centre the accused persons got into Nare’s room and assaulted him with a stick on the buttocks several times in a bid to recover the stolen money. This was witnessed by Nare’s girlfriend, Ndou.”
On 29 December 2020, at midday, Siasayi and Peyani, in the company of Gwanda District Administrator, who is also the owner of Toporo Special Bottle Store, Kilibone Ndou, escorted Nare from Swereki Police Base to Toporo Business Centre.
On the same day, at around 2000 hours, the accused persons were seen at Swereki shops without the now deceased, who never made it home.
On January 4, 2021, the deceased’s mother, Sibongile Ndou, told one Inspector Marisa, who is the Officer in Charge at Zezani, that her son did not return home since his arrest.
The following day, Insp Marisa proceeded to Swereki base and upon interviewing Siasayi and Peyani, he was told that Nare escaped from their custody and efforts to chase him were in vain.
Insp Marisa discovered that Nare was arrested, but no warned and cautioned statement had been recorded from him.
He also discovered that the unlawful entry and theft report was not recorded in the report book at the base.
A search was commissioned on 7 January 2021 and the decomposing remains of the deceased were found stashed in a white sack inside a concrete conduit small drainage system.
A skull, which was detached from the body, two limbs with feet and two arms were also found.
The clothes and body parts seemed to have been burnt before being stashed in the sack. The Sunday Mail