Police in Chivhu, Mashonaland East province, allegedly tortured and killed a woman whom they accused of concealing money stolen by her sister.
The claims were made by the Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) in its latest report titled It’s Politricks All Over which also suggested that the police were the major perpetrators of human rights violations that occurred in Mashonaland East in September.
ZPP alleges that Sharai Mukaro was allegedly tortured by police officers during interrogation on September 12, 2021.
ZPP said a medical report showed that she suffered internal bleeding around her heart and that could have resulted in her death. The ZPP report read:
Police officers were among the main perpetrators of human rights violations that occurred in Mashonaland East. The police were perpetrators of 40% of the human rights violations that ZPP recorded this month. In one of the cases, police officers in Chivhu in Chikomba district tortured a woman to death during interrogations on September 12.
She was suspected of withholding money allegedly stolen by her younger sister who had been arrested in Harare. According to an autopsy shown to the ZPP, the deceased, Sharai Mukaro, suffered massive pericardial clot, had large amounts of blood in the upper mediastinum (which contains the heart, thymus gland, portions of the oesophagus and trachea, and other structures) and had raptures in the area of the aorta.
The human rights organisation said there was no record of any disciplinary measures taken against the killer police officers.
ZPP also noted that this was not the first case of people dying at the hands of the police. It urged the police to act within their mandate when dealing with suspects adding that torture should be a punishable crime.
The Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights has threatened to pursue the matter and have the culprits brought to book.