ZIMBABWEAN authorities have commenced conducting an inquest to ascertain the cause of death of a Chivhu woman, who died last year from injuries sustained as a result of severe assault and torture by Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers.
Mukaro, a mother of two, died early in September 2021 from injuries sustained as a result of the severe assault and torture inflicted upon her by Detective Steven Dondo and some police officers in a “Darkroom” at Chivhu Police Station, where she was detained after being accused of stealing US$1 000.
The inquest to establish the death of Sharai Mukaro began on Wednesday 30 March 2022 at Chivhu Magistrates Court and continued on Thursday 31 March 2022 with Detective Dondo testifying and claiming that Mukaro’s husband Pastor Abinel Mukaro had told him that she had some heart problems.
However, three witnesses namely Pastor Mukaro, the deceased’s husband, her daughter Ivy Mukaro and Pastor Mukaro’s workmate Pastor Nelson Chirambadare, told the court that Sharai was assaulted under her feet by ZRP officers while in police custody.
According to a medical report, the cause of death of Sharai was as a result of blood clots and indicated that several blows were inflicted upon her.
The inquest was only instituted after Tinashe Chinopfukutwa of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights issued a notice of intention to sue on Detective Dondo, ZRP Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Hon. Kazembe Kazembe.
In the notice of intention to sue, Chinopfukutwa stated that Dondo fatally assaulted Mukaro after having threatened to kill her. Chinopfukutwa protested that the conduct of police officers who tortured Mukaro to death is a breach of the constitutional obligation of the Police
Service to protect and secure the lives of Zimbabwean citizens as provided for under Section 219(1)(c) of the Constitution.
The human rights lawyer also formally requested that the criminal investigations on the death of the deceased which were being handled by police officers from Chivhu Police Station be conducted by law enforcement agents from another police station as he does not reasonably expect police officers at Chivhu Police Station to investigate themselves and accord justice to his clients, who are Pastor Mukaro and Ivy.