Four junior officers at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison have been arraigned before the courts for assaulting and breaking an inmate’s leg for picking a $1 coin in the office he was cleaning.
Taona Nyoni (32), Godweu Njeku (47), Norman Chari (38) and Marshal Nyandowe (30) were expected to appear in court last week charged with assaulting Masiiwa Vhitorini, who is Harare magistrate Nyasha Vhitorini’s younger brother.
Allegations are that on March 13, Masiiwa, who is an inmate at Chikurubi Maximum Security Prison, was cleaning the complex’s administration offices under the supervision of Njeku. In the course of his duties, Masiiwa allegedly picked up a coin and shoved it into his pocket.
Njeku allegedly discovered the offence and ordered him to surrender the money. Masiiwa gave the money to Njeku, who then allegedly assaulted him with open hands, demanding more money.
The State further avers that Nyoni, Chari and Nyandowe then joined in and repeatedly kicked Masiiwa. It is alleged that Nyoni used his service rifle to hit the complainant’s left leg several times until it fractured.
The accused persons reportedly then forced Masiiwa to lie that he injured himself while walking. The accused persons even escorted the complainant to the prison hospital to make sure he did not disclose the assault.
The matter came to light on March 14 when the complainant’s brother visited and inquired why his leg was in a plaster cast. The complainant revealed the assault. Magistrate Vhitorini then made a police report, leading to the quartet’s arrest.