Harare Man Tortured by CID Officers, Forced to Pay Bribe for Freedom
22 February 2024
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By Dorrothy Moyo | In a harrowing incident that sheds light on the use of excessive force and corruption within law enforcement, a man in Harare was subjected to severe torture by two officers of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), resulting in him passing blood-stained urine. The officers, identified as Wellington Mlambo, 43, and Gracious Selemani, 35, who are stationed at Braeside, have been charged with assault and criminal abuse of office. They made their initial court appearance before Magistrate Ruth Moyo on Monday and have been remanded until March 18, each granted bail at US$100.

The ordeal began on the morning of February 15, when the victim was apprehended at Mbare Musika under accusations of receiving stolen property, charges which he vehemently denied. Despite his denials, it is alleged that upon their arrival at the CID Braeside Police Station, Mlambo and Selemani engaged in a brutal interrogation session, assaulting the man under his feet with a baton in a vile attempt to extract a confession.

In a distressing turn of events, the court was informed that the two officers then demanded a US$150 bribe from the complainant to secure his release. The complainant’s brother complied, providing the demanded amount to the corrupt officers. Furthermore, the victim was coerced into paying a US$15 fine for purportedly failing to maintain a register of second-hand goods, an accusation added to compound his woes.

The complainant and his brother were eventually released, but the nightmare did not end upon leaving the police station. It was on their journey home that the victim realized the severity of his injuries, as he discovered he was passing blood-stained urine—a chilling testament to the brutality he endured under the custody of Mlambo and Selemani.

Acting on the complainant’s report, an investigation was launched, culminating in the arrest of the two CID officers. The case has sparked outrage and concern over the conduct of law enforcement officials, highlighting a pressing need for systemic reforms to address issues of torture and corruption within the ranks. As the legal proceedings unfold, many await justice for the victim and a stand against such egregious abuses of power.