By A Correspondent- A vendor in Chivhu was severely mauled by police dogs on Sunday and then made to pay a fine of ZWL$1 000 for allegedly violating current Level 4 COVID-19 lockdown regulations.
Police officers on patrol allegedly unleashed dogs on Enerty Chimedza, accusing her of remaining at her vending stall after the 3:30 pm business cut off time.
Chimedza is appealing to members of the public to assist her with money to buy prescription medicine given her by the doctor for the wounds. The drugs prescribed for her treatment cost US$140.
Speaking to Masvingo Mirror, Mashonaland East provincial police spokesperson Inspector Simon Chazovachiii said he was yet to receive the report. He said:
I am yet to receive that report however what the police officers did is not acceptable and why could they hide the Memo pertaining to such a tragic incident.
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) spokesperson Kumbirai Mafunda condemned the police brutality describing the incident as a true sign of human rights abuse by the law enforcement agencies.
We condemn this kind of brutality by the police on this poor woman.
We are concerned about increasing cases across the country where the police are not executing their duty professionally.
They should not take the law into their hands and they should respect human rights.
Chimedza said that vendors at the market stall close at 3.30 pm but they leave one person to guard their wares until 6 pm when a security guard comes for the night shift.
On this day I was on duty to guard the wares until the guard came. Police details found me at the market and accused me of violating COVID-19 regulations by doing business after 3. 30pm. They assaulted me before unleashing their dogs on me.
After her arrest, Chimedza was taken to Chivhu Police Station. She was made to pay ZWL$1 000 despite having been injured.
Chimedza said she was only given a letter by the police on Monday to get treatment at Chivhu General Hospital.
She went to see Chivhu General Hospital nurses on Monday and got a prescription for injections which cost US$140. The nurses told her that there were no drugs at the hospital.
Police did not bother to get her treated for the wounds and the spokesperson Chazovachiii said he was going to make a follow up on the issue.
Ward 9 Councillor Christopher Muchenje described the Police action as barbaric and lamented the concerned cops for showing no remorse for their heavy-handedness.
Meanwhile, vendors in Chivhu also accused cops of demanding sex from the women that they arrest and this is one of the conditions for getting one’s freedom.
They also accused Police in Chivhu of corruption and in particular they go around the small town taking bribes.