|www.corpun.com : Archive : 2009 : ZW Illicit May 2009|
swradioafrica.com (SW Radio Africa News, "The Independent Voice of Zimbabwe"), 29 May 2009
Shocking video shows Zimbabwe police beating recruits
By Tichaona Sibanda
SW Radio Africa has obtained exclusive video footage showing a number of police recruits in Zimbabwe being tortured and beaten in a series of sickening assaults by what appears to be their instructors.
In one horrifying attack, a recruit is pinned down by six officers with one stepping on his back as laughing instructors whip and kick the defenseless man. The recruit can be heard screaming while one officer shouts, 'wuraya' (kill him). Other officers are also heard shouting 'castrate him,' and 'step on his throat.'
Screaming recruits are also seen being wrestled to the ground
and held down while laughing officers kick and beat them with
The footage is believed to have been filmed in the last two months in Harare. A voice supposedly that of one of the instructors can also be heard bellowing out instructions to the assailants.
'The syllabus has now changed. We now call this syllabus E,' the officer can be heard saying, probably referring to the practice of beatings.
Surprisingly, it was a police officer who made the film, and others can be seen in the video using their mobile phones to capture the beatings. Taurayi Chamboko, a police constable with the Bedfordshire Constabulary in the UK told us the officers in the footage would have faced serious charges of brutality and human rights abuses in the UK.
"In the UK it is illegal for an instructor to have
physical contact with a recruit unless they are going through
certain tactical drills where contact is unavoidable," PC
"A police officer is someone in a contract of employment,
so what employer has a right to brutally assault employees? The
Zimbabwe government must immediately investigate this crime and
arrest anyone found to have been involved in these dastardly,
inhuman and degrading acts," Mavhinga said.
Isaac Dziya, a retired assistant commissioner with the ZRP described the beatings as 'shocking,' and said such things should not be happening under a new unity government.
Dziya said torture in Zimbabwe is now 'routine,' and exerted on anybody whether in political or criminal cases, and the police don't really feel any shame in practicing it because they are taught the subject as a syllabus.
RELATED VIDEO CLIP
There are several versions of the video material to which the above article refers. This one (1 minute 50 seconds) is the longest version I have found. Some viewers may feel that the text above is a little exaggerated when it talks of "sickening assaults" and "horrifying attacks", and especially of "torture", a word nowadays tossed around too lightly; and that what is seen here is too hasty and casual, and ultimately not brutal enough, to be so described. Most of the recipients get five rather moderate-looking whacks across the buttocks with a thick stick (less severe than five strokes of a real cane would be). That is not to say that the behaviour shown is defensible, but it does not seem all that serious in comparison with other abuses, up to and including mass murder, that have been going on in Zimbabwe, where the rule of law has collapsed since independence and the police are a law unto themselves, according to such sources as the US State Department.
HERE IS THE CLIP:
IMPORTANT: Copyright in this video material rests with the original copyright holders. This brief excerpt is reproduced under the "fair use" doctrine for private, non-profit, historical research and education purposes only. It must not be redistributed or republished in any commercial context.
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