More than 60 cops bussed all the way from Marondera to Mucheke Suburb in Masvingo were chased away from a colleague’s funeral after the deceased’s parents accused some senior officers of complicity in the alleged murder of their daughter.
The cops who were led by Superintendent Ndifana were ordered to leave the late Detective Constable Antonate Silopa (32)’s funeral soon after their arrival in a bus and a truck on Thursday evening last week.
The Police officers had to park their bus and sleep at Chikato Police Station after being ejected from the funeral. There was an attempt by senior officers from both Masvingo and Marondera to negotiate with the family the next day so that officers could perform the usual gun salutes at the burial but this was adamantly rejected by Antonate’s relatives.
Antonate died at Marondera Hospital on Monday last week allegedly after she drank poison.
Superintendent Ndifana declined to comment and referred all questions to Chief Superintended Chikuma from Masvingo Central who in turn pleaded with The Mirror not to publish the story.
The late Antonate’s father Nephat Silopa who is an interpreter at Zaka Magistrate Courts accused senior Police officers of behaving in a queer manner that shows that they were either involved in the death of the late or that they were hiding something.
He told the bus full of cops that they can only attend the funeral after explaining the death of his daughter.
Two post-mortems carried out at Chitungwiza and Parirenyatwa Hospital both failed to establish the cause of Antonate’s death. The family ordered a third post mortem whose results will be out in a month’s time.
There are several theories that have emerged and Police are saying that Anonate died at her boyfriend’s house while another version says that she drank poison.
However, what baffles the deceased’s parents most is that Police has allegedly not opened any docket on the mysterious death of their colleague.
“There is queer behaviour by the Police. We as the deceased’s family suspect that Antonate was probably murdered for a sensitive case that she was investigating but whatever the issue is, we believe that there are senior officers involved and there is a lot of determination to sweep the matter under the carpet,” said the deceased’s mother Florence.
Speaking in an interview with The Mirror, Florence totally rejected that her daughter died at her boyfriend’s place.
“If she did why did the Police not bring forward the boyfriend? Why did they not open a docket? Why are they not investigating the matter?” asked an emotional Florence.
She said even the way that the death was announced to her was unprofessional. “Somebody just called while I was asleep at 3am and told me bluntly that Antonate had drunk poison and was dead. She then instructed me not to talk to anyone else at the station about the issue except her named superior,” said the mother.
She told The Mirror that her daughter was brought to hospital by one Artwell Mafukidze and two others who claimed that they didn’t know her and they picked her on the streets. The family has not had a chance to meet Mafukidze. She also said that her daughter had no bra or blouse when she was brought to hospital but these were later found thrown into the deceased’s house well after her death.
“We found Antoneta’s house turned upside down. There was missing money. Her phone was being used by an officer who claimed to be her friend but she never came forward to give her story. The same cop was driving our daughter’s vehicle long after she had died and we don’t know how she got the car keys or her phone. It puzzles us that senior officers are not doing anything about all these unusual and illegal happenings,” said Florence.
She said she was not amused that senior officers were trying to stop the family from getting an independent post-mortems.
“When we said we wanted to get an independent post-mortem, a senior officer called and told us that it was unnecessary. When we eventually got the post-mortem at Chitungwiza Hospital, there were hordes of detectives all around the place.
“The same also happened when we went to Parirenyatwa for another post-mortem,” said Florence.
Antoneta was buried at Mangwandi Cemetery without Police honours as the family totally rejected that procedure.