A CHIVHU magistrate on Friday ruled that there was foul play involved in the death of a woman after she was severely assaulted and tortured by the police in September last year.
Sharai Mukaro was arrested and allegedly assaulted at Chivhu Police Station by detectives including one Detective Stephen Dondo who were investigating her for theft of US$1 000.
An inquest into circumstances surrounding the death of Mukaro, who allegedly succumbed to the injuries, began on Wednesday March 30, 2022 at Chivhu Magistrates Court with Dondo testifying.
In his ruling, Chivhu magistrate Henry Sande said evidence submitted by witnesses showed that the probability that Mukaro succumbed to injuries sustained from the torture was quite high.
Sande said it was clear that Mukaro was assaulted under her feet by the police.
He then ordered an independent investigation on the case, which should be instituted by police officers outside Mashonaland East province.
The inquest was instituted after Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) sought to sue Dondo, Zimbabwe Republic Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage minister Kazembe Kazembe.
Dondo claimed that Mukaro’s husband Abinel had told him that his wife had some heart problems.
A medical report showed that she suffered internal bleeding around her heart, which could have resulted in her death.
However, her husband, daughter Ivy and workmate Nelson Chirambadare told the court that Mukaro was assaulted under her feet while in police custody.
In the notice of intention to sue, Chinopfukutwa stated that Dondo fatally assaulted Mukaro and threatened to kill her.
Chinopfukutwa argued that the police officers’ conduct of torturing Mukaro to death was a breach of the constitutional obligation of the police services to protect and secure the lives of people in line with Section 219(1) (c) of the Constitution.