Inquest Into Death Of Tortured Chivhu Detainee Commences

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By Leopold Munhende, Chief Reporter

AN inquest to establish the cause of death of a Chivhu woman who was allegedly severely tortured by police detectives in the farming town has started.

Sharai Mukaro succumbed to injuries allegedly inflicted by detective Steven Dongo and other officers who bundled her into a “dark room” where they thoroughly tortured her.

She was being accused of concealing a US$1 000 loot from her younger sister who was under a police investigation for thef.

“The inquest to establish the death of Sharai Mukaro began on Wednesday 30 March 2022 at Chivhu Magistrates Court and continued on Thursday 31 March 2022 with Detective Dondo testifying and claiming that Mukaro’s husband Pastor Abinel Mukaro had told him that she had some heart problems,” the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) said in a statement.

“According to a medical report, the cause of death of Sharai was as a result of blood clots and indicated that several blows were inflicted upon her. Three witnesses namely Pastor Mukaro, the deceased’s husband, her daughter Ivy Mukaro and Pastor Mukaro’s workmate Pastor Nelson Chirambadare, told the court that Sharai was assaulted under her feet by ZRP officers while in police custody.”

Mukaro autopsy report revealed that she suffered massive pericardial clot, had large amounts of blood in the upper mediastinum (which contains the heart, thymus gland, portions of the oesophagus and trachea, and other structures) and had raptures in the area of the aorta, according to a Zimbabwe Peace Project report.

The inquest was only instituted after Chinopfukutwa issued a notice of intention to sue on Dondo, police commissioner general Godwin Matanga and home affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe.

In the notice of intention to sue Chinopfukutwa stated that Dondo fatally assaulted Mukaro after having threatened to kill her.

Chinopfukutwa formally requested that the criminal investigations on the death of the deceased which were being handled by police officers from Chivhu police station be conducted by law enforcement agents from another police station as he does not reasonably expect police officers at Chivhu police station to investigate themselves and accord justice to his clients.