Hwange villagers turn up the heat on police after shooting

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By Robert Tapfumaneyi

TWO Hwange women have asked the Zimbabwe Republic Police to carry out investigations into incidents in which they were struck and injured by stray bullets, fired indiscriminately during a police raid on alleged illegal coke vendors August this year.

In the case of 25 year-old Twaboni Nyoni of Madumabisa Village 2 in Hwange in Matabeleland North province, she was shot by a stray bullet discharged by a ZRP officer only identified as Hove on 25 August as she was seated at her homestead.

As a result of the shooting, Nyoni sustained injuries on one of her breasts and can no longer breastfeed her three-month-old son on that particular breast.

In another case, 46 year-old Zulani Mudenda of Madumabisa Village 2 in Hwange, was also shot on the same day from a firearm belonging to a ZRP officer, who was among a team of law enforcement agents meant to be dealing with some alleged illegal coke vendors in the mining town of Hwange.

Mudenda was shot as she was coming from work and walking to her homestead between 7pm and 8pm on the day.

She had just passed a huge white pick-up truck when she then noticed three police officers who were on foot.

Without any warning, one of the police operatives discharged a bullet which hit the unsuspecting and unarmed Mudenda.

As a result of the shooting, she sustained serious injuries on the stomach, severe loss of blood that upon admission at a local hospital, she required a transfusion of five pints of blood and the extent of her injuries required specialised treatment at Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo.

Apart from the pain which she endured, the incident left Mudenda severely traumatised and unable to fully cope with life while also fearing for her safety and that of her family.

Prisca Dube of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) is representing the two.

Nyoni and Mudenda, through their lawyers, recently wrote letters of complaint to the Officer-In-Charge of Hwange Police Station protesting against some junior officers’ conduct and demanding that they be held accountable for their unlawful actions.

Dube asked the Officer-In-Charge of Hwange Police Station to immediately investigate the unwarranted use of force through discharge of firearms by police officers, which resulted in Nyoni and Mudenda sustaining injuries.

They were also demanding the full details of the perpetrators, coupled with full incident reports.

The human rights lawyer also wants the Officer-In-Charge of Hwange Police Station to indicate the steps which ZRP is taking or will be taking to ensure that justice is not only done but is actually seen to be done for Nyoni and Mudenda.