MP for Harare North Rusty Markham reports that on Friday 18th October, 2019, at 2.00 pm he received a call from local councilor Ian Makone regarding a shooting incident by the police at an area known as “Masawe” in the constituency.
Masawe is an informal settlement made up of unemployed and some ex-farm workers, located about 800m from the Enterprise Road tollgate going out of Harare, between the Shawasha/ Umwinsidale area.
The local councilor was already at Highlands police and was proceeding to the scene with the police. I arrived just after 3.00pm. Over 200 residents had gathered, and the police were there including investigating officers and the notorious fully armed riot police.
At the scene I saw a man in his 20s, lying in a small reed thatch shower/bath. His small hand towel was still over his shoulders, and the loose fitting sandals had fallen off his feet.
Residents reported that the man, Bruce Luka, had been accused of rape by his partner whom he lived with and already had a small child. The investigating officer, with 3 others, arrived and after some words shot Bruce Luka.
Police were investigating the scene, took notes, loaded the body and left with the riot squad at about 4.10pm. The body was taken to Parirenyatwa hospital morgue. On Sunday, the family was taken to the morgue but no report or contact had been received from Highlands’s police station. The post mortem date was set for the 31st of October.
With little to no cooperation from the Highlands police, the family reported the incident to PGHQ Complaints for internal investigations. The report reference number is 421/19. Residents from the Masawe area reported that the partner and the child, assisted by police, had been assisted by the police to go to their rural home in Buhera.
On Monday 21st October 2019, with the help of the councilor, the full report and complaint to the PGHQ complaints was filled in. The post mortem has been brought forward to Tuesday 22nd of October. The Minister of Home affairs was contacted and is now aware of the incident.
MP Markham voiced concern on this killing due to the impunity that police are working. A policeman cannot be killing and then investigating themselves. This is the third incident in that week, after one vendor was bludgeoned to death and died in custody after being denied medical treatment.
Further to this latest incident, the police officer involved has not been arrested or charged. No police apology or explanation has been forth coming. We are concerned that the policeman will carry on with their acts of impunity.
Rusty Markham (MP)