THE Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) will institute internal disciplinary proceedings against six police officers who allegedly brutalised two women from Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb for allegedly violating lockdown regulations.
Simbarashe Bvekwa, Tichaona Zariro, Patson Gumoreyi, Zibusiso Masuku, Elizabeth Denhere and Christabel Munyondo were arrested on Friday for allegedly assaulting the two siblings aged 30 and 36 years.
The suspects were briefly taken to Western Commonage Magistrate Court on Saturday but the case could not start as the case was referrred back for further investigations as prosecution noted contradictions between victims’ accounts and evidence before the court.
In an interview yesterday, national police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the suspects who are facing criminal charges will also be subjected to internal disciplinary process.
“Certainly they will be subjected to internal disciplinary process. I can’t specify when investigations will start because that would be tantamount to revealing their charges before the officers are served. What is important is that they will face charges,” he said.
The National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) last week initiated investigations leading to the arrest of the police officers.
The commission condemned the alleged police heavy handedness saying it was unwarranted.
The women detailed how the officers assaulted them and detained them overnight at Cowdray Park Police Base after refusing to let them pay fines.
The siblings, names withheld, were arrested on April 16 at a supermarket in the suburb where they had gone to buy food for their children.
Pictures of the battered and bruised women have since gone viral on social media.
The women alleged three cops picked them out from a queue at the supermarket and cuffed their hands behind their backs.
The officers allegedly force-marched the victims through a bush to Cowdray Park Police Base, making frequent stops along the way to beat them with the batons.
Commenting on the incident last week, Asst Comm Nyathi said police officers should be professional while executing their duties.
“They should not get carried away when they perform their duties.
“They should stick to the mandate which the police have in terms of the constitution of the country, in terms of the deployment which would have been done by their commanders. So, anyone who goes outside the deployment order and does their own things will face the full the wrath of the law,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.