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Zimbabwe villagers disabled after torture by police

Story from: CAJ News Africa

Zimbabwe villagersFrom MARCUS MUSHONGA in Harare, Zimbabwe
HARARE, (CAJ News) – COURTS have ordered Zimbabwean government officials to compensate some villagers left disabled after police assaulted them during a land ownership wrangle.
Zimbabwe Republic Police members brutalized the six citizens in Chisumbanje in the eastern Manicaland Province two years ago following a dispute between ethanol producer, Green Fuels, and the villagers.
Villagers Chipo Chiripinda, Eddie Mabere, Mugovera Makaza, Maxwell Mtisi, Samson Muyambo and Vaina Ndlovu were working on their fields when heavily-armed officers indiscriminately assaulted them before arresting and detaining them at the Chisumbanje Police Station.
Accused of engaging in public violence at Macdom Estate, they were denied food and water in detention.
As a result of the assault, some villagers were left wheelchair-bound and another is now suffering from reduced hearing and has a torn ear drum with a possibility of deafness and long term ear infections.
After being brutalised, the villagers were assisted by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights to file summons at Chipinge Magistrates Court against the Officer In Charge only identified as Mazarura, police commissioner Augustine Chihuri and home affairs minister Ignatious Chombo claiming damages for disability emanating from the police assault.
Chipinge Magistrate, Poterai Gwezhira, has ordered the trio to pay US$5 000 (R63 000).
Mazarura, Chihuri and Chombo must pay $500 to each of the six villagers.
In addition, they must pay Ndlovu over $900, $735 to Muyambo and $60 to Chiripinda.
Zimbabwean police are infamous for brutalising demonstrators. Recently, a Mutare Magistrates Court in the eastern Mutare ordered a police officer to compensate a student for over $500 after he was tortured in a probe into student demonstrations.

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