Police assault, torture students protesting poor diet

A number of Gokomere high school students are nursing injuries after they were severely assaulted by Masvingo police for staging a protest over poor diet and learning conditions.

This is revealed in a protest letter to Masvingo rural police station by the lawyers’ parents demanding a probe into the assault and torture of the children.

The parents, represented by the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), gave Masvingo rural police station a 7-day ultimatum to investigate the incident.

In the letter, ZLHR lawyer Martin Mureri protested against the conduct of police officers who arrested and assaulted the students, leaving them nursing injuries.

“The human rights lawyer said the students’ parents and guardians want the assault and torture to be investigated within seven days and to be furnished with the outcome of the probe detailing the names of the law enforcement agents who ill-treated the students,” the ZLHR said in a statement.

Some students were left nursing injuries after they were assaulted by arresting police officers on Sunday and Monday, November 8 after the weekend protest over a poor diet.

The students spent time detained at Masvingo Rural Police Station and were only released after the intervention of the ZLHR on Monday afternoon.

Zimbabwe police has a soiled human rights record.

Just last week, a Beitbridge court ordered Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga to pay more than ZWL500 000 to two residents of the border town who were mauled by police dogs in 2020.

Edmund Zeyazeya and Benson Tavengwa sued Kazembe and Matanga for damages amounting to ZWL 3 million and ZWL 1 million after they were severely bitten by a police dog on August 1, 2020, at a fuel station in the border town.

The law enforcement agents, who were enforcing national lockdown regulations, failed to stop the dogs from mauling the two residents.

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