Back to Index
police officers behind torture of MDC activist
Sibanda, SW Radio Africa
May 11, 2007
A senior police officer
in Harare has been exposed as a 'vicious torturer' behind the serial
beatings of MDC activists at the notorious Law and Order section
at the central police station.
Senior assistant commissioner
Musarashana Godwin Mabunda, an elder at the Zioga church, was described
on Friday as a Christian who openly and unashamedly defends the
use of torture and abuse against MDC activists detained by the regime
in the last two months.
Other senior officers
named were Superintendent Chani and an Inspector Rangwani. Both
Mabunda and Chani are former war veterans and were described by
a former police officer as 'two individuals who are difficult to
The silence on Mabunda
and his co-conspirators was broken by Pishai Muchauraya, MDC spokesman
for Manicaland, a torture victim who barely survived to tell his
story to confirm the 'horrors' that police under the command of
'the terrible trio' tortured MDC activists at the Law and Order
headquarters in the capital.
'It's normal for Christians to see themselves as defenders of morality
rather than defenders of evil. He (Mabunda) must come to grips with
the fact that as a Christian he is defending and advocating moral
evil in the pursuit of political goals.'
Describing the horrors
of the week he spent at the Law and Order section, Muchauraya painted
a picture of arrests and torture that have led human rights groups
to condemn the regime in the strongest terms.
'The first stage was
the inevitable shock. As a pro-democracy activist fighting against
the brutal regime I was by and large psychologically prepared for
danger, but I was totally unprepared to experience such suffering
from people who are supposed to be protecting us,' he said.
Muchauraya added; 'before
charges were even laid against me, Chani whipped me 16 times on
my buttocks and gleefully told me it was just an introduction. After
I got over the initial pain I was then consumed by fear. I thought
I would never walk out alive.'
There were other forms
'I was treated cruelly
not only by the senior officers but their subordinates as well.
Many of these junior officers kept their distance but were forced
to be proactive to prove their worth and to avoid suspicion. They
cursed and shouted at me, made fun of my ill health and inflicted
punishment whenever they pleased,' Muchauraya said.
He said one of the worst
punishments he endured was the denial of food. In one week he was
fed just enough to keep him alive: no more than a fistful of food
at mealtime, and there were times he was not fed at all.
'I used to see
myself as a warrior, unbreakable and strong. But I lost all that
dignity under torture, 'ndakapedzisira ndakubowa sekamwana nekurohwa'
(I ended up wailing like a kid at each beating).'
After the third
day in custody police tried to charge him with insurgency, terrorism
and banditry but he denied all charges. On the fifth day he was
charged on a lesser account of 'causing trouble' in Manicaland and
was released on Z$2500 bail. He spent a week in hospital receiving
Please credit www.kubatana.net if you make use of material from this website.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License unless stated otherwise.