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Four cops in trouble for torturing woman using a bucket of water

Four members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) are in trouble after a Masvingo woman sued them for allegedly torturing her to reveal the whereabouts of her son.

According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), the four police officers are identified as Constable Mavis Sibanda, Constable John Njaya, Constable Mushonga and another unidentified law enforcement agent, who are stationed at Chivamba Police Base in Zaka in Masvingo province.

It is alleged that the accused raided the homestead of 37 year-old Teressa Kosana on 6 May intending to arrest her 20 year-old son Byron Chedimbwa, who had reportedly defaulted on completing a community service sentence.

Kosana allegedly advised the ZRP officers that her son, who was convicted of theft of a mobile phone handset and sentenced to serve community service, was not at home and had travelled to Chiredzi.

Constable Sibanda, Constable Njaya, Constable Mushonga and their unidentified colleague, then sought to coerce Kosana to disclose the whereabouts of her son by arresting her and handcuffing her before detaining her at Chivamba Police Base.

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“On the way to Chivamba Police Base, Kosana was threatened with assault and untold suffering by ZRP officers including being advised by Constable Sibanda that she would be taken to a dam to be immersed in water so that she could confess and reveal the whereabouts of Chedimbwa.

“However, Constable Sibanda’s colleagues decided that instead of taking Kosana to a dam, they should use a bucket to pour water on her so as to humiliate her and force her to disclose where her son was. While at Chivamba Police Base, the ZRP officers handcuffed her to a table and poured cold water on her.

“Kosana spent the whole night while drenched with water and shackled to a table and was only released in the morning of 7 May 2023 without a charge being preferred against her,” the ZLHR said.

“After the harrowing torture, an aggrieved Kosana engaged the services of Peggy Tavagadza of ZLHR, who filed a complaint against the conduct of the ZRP officers and issued a notice of intention to sue the law enforcements agents, ZRP Commissioner General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe.

“In the notice of intention to sue, Tavagadza complained that the arrest and detention of Kosana was malicious and that she was tortured and subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment by ZRP officers.

“Tavagadza advised the ZRP officers, Matanga and Hon. Kazembe that Kosana will soon issue summons against them in court wherein she will sue them for damages arising from the assault, unlawful arrest and detention and also for the pain and suffering which she endured during the torture sessions.”