ZRP officer faces grim prospect of his pay being garnished for torturing civilian

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Staff Reporter

A ZIMBABWE Republic Police (ZRP) officer could soon have his monthly salary garnished to pay up ZW$400,000 damages to a Chitungwiza man, Ednock Dube, who he tortured for violating Covid-19 curfew regulations.

This comes after the victim successfully sued the officer only identified as Chafunga, ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe.

On 16 September 2022, Chitungwiza Magistrate Sheunesu Matova ordered the parties to pay ZW$400,000 in damages to Dube after holding them liable for the abuse against Dube.

Following this development, Dube, through his lawyer Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), has written a letter to Matanga notifying him of his intention to apply in court for a garnishee order against Chafunga.

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

Circumstances are that Dube was 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,” read court documents.

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

In a similar case in 2017, a Mutare Magistrate granted an application to garnish US$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.