Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashamba has ordered the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), the Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Services (ZPCS) and two cabinet ministers to pay ZWL$200 000 to a teacher who was arrested, tortured and abused by police and prison officers two years ago.
According to the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Munyaradzi Masiyiwa, who is employed as a teacher and is the Deputy Secretary-General of the Amalgamated Rural Teachers Union of Zimbabwe (ARTUZ), was arrested on 16 August 2019 in Harare.
He was arrested at Market Square bus terminus in Harare as he was waiting to board a commuter omnibus to go to his place of residence.
Police officers who arrested Masiyiwa allegedly mistook him for an opposition MDC party supporter as he was wearing a red shirt.
The arrest took place on the day when the then Nelson Chamisa-led party had organised an anti-government protest over the country’s worsening economic crisis.
The police officers who arrested Masiyiwa handcuffed, bundled him into their truck and severely assaulted and tortured him while he lay on his abdomen.
They used truncheons to assault Masiyiwa all over his body before instructing him to make coital movements and simulate as if he was having sexual intercourse with the ZRP vehicle.
He was taken to Harare Central Prison where he was remanded in custody and further assaulted.
Masiyiwa was allegedly ordered by prison officers to strip naked and jump up and down with his hands in the air and was also denied food.
He was eventually cleared of the public violence charges on 7 October 2019.
Masiyiwa engaged ZLHR’s Tinashe Chinopfukutwa who sued ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Kazembe Kazembe, Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ziyambi Ziyambi and ZPCS Commissioner-General Moses Chihobvu and a police officer only identified as Jambaya.
Masiyiwa demanded ZWL$200 000 in damages for pain and suffering, trauma, contumelia, embarrassment and humiliation.
He told the court that he had been severely abused and humiliated by the conduct of ZRP and ZPCS officers.
Magistrate Mashamba ordered Matanga, Kazembe, Ziyambi, Chihobvu and Jambaya to pay ZWL$200 000 to Masiyiwa as compensation for the ill-treatment.
The penalty was broken down as ZWL$100 000 for pain and suffering and ZWL$100 000 for embarrassment, affront to dignity, humiliation and contumelia.