POLICE brutality reared its ugly head again last week after officers deployed to enforce government’s 21-day national lockdown order severely battered a 27-year-old man from Warren Park, Harare, and fractured his hand.
Tendai Mtombeni told NewsDay yesterday that he passed out after the assault on Friday and only regained consciousness the following day after being admitted to a local private medical facility with the help of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights.
“I am a car washer and I was visited at home by my client who wanted his car washed. He gave me US$5 and I had no change, so I decided to go to Warren Park shops to get the change,” Mtombeni said.
“While on my way, I met police officers who were in a truck. They were more than 50 in the truck.
“They stopped me and asked where I was coming from and I told them that I was looking for change. A female officer then grabbed me by the belt and told me to get into the truck.
“As I was explaining to her that I was looking for change for a client who was waiting at my home, she started beating me and her colleagues disembarked from the truck and joined in the assault. They took my Nokia mobile phone and the money and they went away with it. I sustained injuries on my head, hand and all over my body. They left me unconscious and I don’t know how I got home.”
He is now walking with the aid of crutches.
ZADHR board secretary Norman Matara told NewsDay that a CT scan on Mtombeni revealed that he had fractured his left hand.
There have been several reports of brutality by police and soldiers since the 21-day national lockdown came into effect on March 30.
One such case is of a Karoi woman who sued the police after they allegedly unleashed a dog on her after finding her preparing supper inside her yard.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said Warren Park police had no report pertaining to the incident.
“I have checked with Harare province police, who contacted the police officers on the ground at Warren Park Police, but they said there was no such report,” he said.
“If you can provide more details, we could have helped, but without a case report, it will be difficult to deal with that issue.”
However, some people purporting to be from the police intelligence department visited Mtombeni’s residence yesterday evening claiming they were investigating the assault, his family said.