By Bulawayo Correspondent
THE MDC Alliance Bulawayo Women’s Assembly says the army could have played a part in the vicious attack on two Bulawayo women allegedly by police officers in Bulawayo last week.
Six police officers were Friday arrested for allegedly assaulting Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu for hours with batons on their backs, hips while accusing the siblings of violating the on-going national lockdown against the spread of coronavirus.
In a statement, the MDC women’s assembly condemned the acts, adding that the attacks were not consistent with police training.
This comes amid claims government often dresses soldiers with police uniforms to deal with acts of civil disobedience.
“We condemn the brutal assault by police officers on sisters Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu on 16 April in Cowdray Park Township,” said assembly provincial secretary, Hallen Tsepiso Mpofu in a statement.
“The assault is a clear affront to Articles 52 (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which states that every person has the right to bodily and psychological integrity which includes the right to freedom from all forms of violence from public or private sources.”
Mpofu said the alleged assault on the women was worsened by anti-Ndebele slurs which were allegedly uttered by the perpetrators while attacking the victims.
She said the MDC organ strongly suspected the vicious attack on the women was carried out by para-military and other auxiliary forces.
“The severity of the assaults is not consistent with police training.
“We suspect this barbaric attack was carried out by people who are militarily trained. The alleged assault by the ‘police officers’ is also worsened by the fact that anti-Ndebele slurs were pelted at the women, something common in Matabeleland during the early 80s Gukurahundi genocide.
“We call upon the Zimbabwe Republic Police to uphold Section 3 (2) (i) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, which recognizes the rights of ethnic, racial, cultural and linguistic groups,” said Mpofu.
Simbarashe Bvekwa, Tichaona Zariro, Patson Gumoreyi, Zibusiso Masuku, Elizabeth Denhere, and Christabel Munyondo were arrested on Friday for allegedly assaulting the siblings aged 30 and 36 years.
The suspects were briefly taken to Western Commonage Magistrate’s Court on Saturday, but the case could not start as it was referred back for further investigations.
This is after prosecutors noted contradictions between the victims’ accounts and evidence before the court.