Zimbabwe policeman must compensate torture victim
Zimbabwean courts have ordered a deduction from a police officer’s salary as compensation for torturing a high school pupil to induce a confession.
Pupil Brighton Sanyanga had in 2014 been tortured at a police station in the east of the country after being accused of malicious damage to property after school rioting.
The Mutare Magistrate’s Court has now granted an application to deduct $100 (R1,310) a month from Constable Crispen Chikazhe after he was ordered by the court to pay damages to the tortured pupil but did not comply.
The police officer had been convicted for his brutality after he tortured Sanyanga, then aged 19, of Pafiwa High School in Mutasa district in Manicaland province. Sanyanga, who was an A-level (final year) student, had been ‘invited for questioning’ at Nyanga police station.
In an effort to extract information from Sanyanga, Chikazhe tortured the student by using electrical shocks and threatening to kill him.
Sanyanga’s lawyer, Peggy Tavagadza of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR), sued Chikazhe on behalf of the pupil.
The court awarded damages in the sum of $570 to Sanyanga, for torture, pain and suffering, medical expenses and transport costs.
Chikazhe reneged, prompting Tavagadza to file an application in court in January seeking an order to compel the Salary Services Bureau, which processes government employees’ salaries, to garnish the officer’s salary.
This is not the first time ZLHR has intervened after police officers at Nyanga police station tortured locals.
In one of the cases, two officers were ordered to pay $3,000 in damages for torturing hotel security guard Tsitsi Chimhutu when they were investigating a break-in at Montclair Hotel last year. Officers tortured her to induce a confession in a case of $2,500 which had gone missing.