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Tuesday, February 7, 2023
HomeCourtsOffending Police Officer Risks Garnishment Of Salary Over Torture

Offending Police Officer Risks Garnishment Of Salary Over Torture

An overzealous Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer risks having money deducted from his monthly salary to pay up damages amounting to ZWL400 000 as punishment for his misdemeanours after he severely assaulted and tortured Ednock Dube, a Chitungwiza resident, for allegedly violating curfew regulations.

Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) recently wrote a letter to ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga notifying him of his intention to apply in court for a garnishee order against the ZRP officer only identified as Chafunga and who is stationed at St Marys Police Station in Chitungwiza.

In the letter, Chinopfukutwa said payment of Chafunga’s monthly salary should be garnished by Salary Services Bureau, which processes government employees’ salaries, and channelled to offset a debt which he owes Dube.

Chafunga together with Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe were on 16 September 2022 ordered by Chitungwiza Magistrate Sheunesu Matova to pay ZWL400 000 in damages to Dube after holding them liable for the violation of the Chitungwiza resident’s fundamental rights.

The 46 year-old Dube sued Chafunga, Matanga and Kazembe in April 2021 for compensation for pain and suffering and embarrassment and humiliation after he was subjected to unlawful assault, torture and inhumane and degrading treatment at the hands of some ZRP officers who included Chafunga.

Dube had been arrested by ZRP officers on 25 February 2021 while on his way home from work for allegedly violating the curfew regulations imposed by government in 2020 in a bid to stop the unnecessary movement of people and to curb the spread of coronavirus. He was taken to St Mary’s Police Station, where he was detained in the police cells while Chafunga handcuffed him to a pole and assaulted him with a truncheon on his head and hands.

As a result of the assault, Dube ended up nursing a fractured finger and sustained injuries to his eye and thereby limiting his eyesight.

He was then assisted by Chinopfukutwa of ZLHR and successfully sued Kazembe, Matanga and Chafunga for damages at Chitungwiza Civil Magistrates Court.

Dube is the latest person to be assisted by ZLHR to garnish the monthly salary of some offending ZRP officers for their delinquencies.

In March 2017, a Mutare Magistrate granted an application to garnish $100 per month from Constable Crispen Chikazhe in satisfaction of a judgment debt, which was granted against the police officer for his barbarism when he tortured Brighton Sanyanga, then a 19-year-old pupil at Pafiwa High School in Mutasa District in Manicaland province.

Sanyanga, who at the time was an Advanced Level student at Pafiwa High School, was tortured by Chikazhe, who had invited him to attend at Nyanga police station to answer allegations of malicious damage to property which had happened at the school after a demonstration allegedly staged by students. Chikazhe, in an effort to extract information from Sanyanga, tortured the student physically by exposing him to electrical shock and psychologically by threatening to kill him.

Sanyanga’s lawyer Peggy Tavagadza of ZLHR intervened by suing Chikazhe on behalf of the student to ensure that the law enforcement agent paid for his cruel actions.

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