Police, activists clash

Published: 22 October 2019
RIOT police yesterday thwarted a demonstration by MDC activists who had attended a court hearing in solidarity with 10 vendors who were arrested over police helmets found in the basement of a city building last week.

The activists were led by MDC Mabelreign councillor Denford Ngadziore and former student unionist Makomborero Haruzivishe, who broke into a song that implicated police in the death of Hilton Tamangani, a vendor who died in remand prison on Saturday.

The other vendors were granted $100 bail by Harare magistrate Learnmore Mapiye, who adjourned proceedings after prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa requested time to respond to a Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights application for an independent pathologist to be granted access to Tamangani's remains.

Ngadziore, Haruzivishe and other unidentified individuals sang ndimi makauraya, hazvina mhosva paukama (you murdered him, but it does not matter), attracting the attention of the public, who gathered at the court entrance to witness the spectacle.

Riot police officers armed with batons charged towards the singing crowd, accusing them of inciting public violence and arrested Ngadziore, Haruzivishe and another activist.
The three was thrown into a police truck and whisked away.

When proceedings resumed, ZLHR representatives Kudzai Kadzere, Marufu Mandevere and Kuzivakwashe Ngodza said they held the State responsible for Tamangani's death and urged the court to urgently decide on their request for an independent post-mortem.

"It would be an abomination for the State to benefit from its own misdeeds by refusing that Tamangani's remains be examined by an independent pathologist to ascertain the cause of death," Kadzere said.

"We cannot rely on the post-mortem by the State because it is an interested party in this matter. It would not be credible."
Mutizirwa responded that there was need for the court to be furnished with a notice of death for its records before the matter could be heard.

He called in a prisons officer-in-charge, only identified as Kuvheya, who professed ignorance of the notice of death.

"I was informed the accused person is now deceased and since he did not die in our custody, but at Harare Central Prison Hospital, we can only wait upon them to act. It is up to them how much time they will take," Kuvheya said.

The matter was postponed to today for ruling.
- dailynews
Tags: Police,


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