By Mary Taruvinga
THE family of a man, who was shot on allegations of straying into prohibited space near Chiadzwa diamond mining area, has approached the High Court seeking an order compelling the police and government to conduct a post-mortem on their relative.
The 25-year-old Terrence Masendeke, was shot dead by a retired police officer and security guard, Dulula Chinamano, in the diamond mining area on May 15 this year.
He was in company of a group of illegal miners who were being dispersed by security guards and police officers in the vicinity of the prohibited mining area.
To date his body is still lying in the mortuary.
In an urgent chamber application filed by the family’s lawyer, Jeremiah Bamu a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), Masendeke’s family claims it has been denied access to his body and were told that post-mortem cannot be conducted until “at least June 25 due to unavailability of pathologists.”
“The family including the late Masendeke’s wife and new-born baby are mourning for the loss of their family member and are eager to bury him,” read the application in part.
“They are incurring great expenses… Therefore, the post-mortem is required urgently.”
According to the application, Masendeke’s family has since looked for their own pathologist to conduct the post-mortem, but he is being denied authority by the respondents.
The applicant in the matter is deceased’s uncle Richard Masendeke while the respondents are the Police Commissioner General, Godwin Matanga, Home affairs Minister, Cain Mathema, Member-in -Charge, Marange Police station, the medical director, Mutare General Hospital and the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health and Child Care.
Dulula has since been arrested for murder and Masendeke’s body is at Mutare General Hospital.
“No one knows the condition of the body of the deceased and it may well be decomposing thereby rendering a post-mortem increasingly futile, the longer the post-mortem is postponed,” said Bamu.
The lawyer went on to accuse the police of trying to distort the outcome.
“Whilst the deceased remains in the mortuary, the family cannot do anything meaningful except to wait and in the meantime costs are being incurred,” Bamu said.
Masendeke’s uncle, Richard said: “We are dissatisfied with how the State is failing to provide doctors to carry out the post-mortem.
“We fear foul play given Dulula Chinamano’s close relationship to the police as a retired police officer who was working with the police to secure the prohibited area. We are traumatised by the delays in carrying out the post-mortem as it means we cannot bury my nephew.”