Memoirs of a Human Rights Defender in Zimbabwe
25 November 2021
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Kennedy Masiye (photo credit-Kumbirai Mafunda)

By Kennedy Masiye- In 2014, I was attacked by uniformed ZRP officers, detained at the Harare Central Police Station and tortured by ZRP PISI officers!

My left arm was broken. Whilst I was in police custody, I passed out several times. When the Officer in Charge realized I was the lawyer representing Itai Dzamara, he instructed his functionaries to carry me to the front entrance and they shoved me under the counter(desk) out of the view of the public.

Helpless,frightened and disoriented, I managed to gather some strength and dialed my wife’s phone and said in a few words “they want to kill me, I am at Harare Central!”

Tears we’re just rolling down my eyes and my arm was getting swollen. My legs and back were swollen and I had also been attacked with a blunt object in my face. My eye classes broke.

Moments later, I was carried by uniformed ZRP and delivered to some secret office where several men in civilian clothes awaited. They made me roll on the floor as they mercilessly interrogated me. In that office, I passed out again.

When I regained consciousness, I remember seeing Advocate Tonderai Bhatasa, who was in the company of several lawyers who had conducted a manhunt for me at the Police Station.

These lawyers had been told by the police that I had never set foot at police station..It turned out I had been abducted by these uniformed men. My condition rapidly deteriorated, I collapsed and was hospitalized for several days.

My lawyers attempted-to file a report on my behalf and get a request for medical attention, but the Officer in Charge refused.

My client Itai Dzamara would be abducted a few months laters never to be found!

(Memoirs of a Human Rights Defender in Zimbabwe)

photo credit: Kumbirai Mafunda