By Tererai Karimakwenda
07 November 2012
An officer from the Zimbabwe Republic Police, who was booted out of the peacekeeping mission in Kosovo in 2003, has been linked to the torture of some of the MDC-T activists on trial in the ongoing Glen View cop murder case.
Defence lawyers revealed shocking information on Tuesday, during cross examination of the investigating officer Clever Ntini. He had testified in the murder trial of 29 MDC-T officials and activists accused of killing officer Petros Mutedza last year.
Detective Inspector Henry Dowa and Chief Superintendent Chrispen Makedenge were named in court as leaders of the teams that arrested and severely tortured some of the accused MDC-T activists.
Dowa’s history of torturing hundreds of MDC and civic society members in
police custody saw him removed from the UN peacekeeping force in 2003. He had been named by several victims as having used his fists, boots and pickaxe handles during beatings.
Dowa is also alleged to have administered electric shocks, to the point of convulsions, to detainees at Harare Central Police Station throughout 2002 and in early 2003. Medical examinations showed that the injuries were consistent with torture, reinforcing the allegations against him.
Councillor Tungamirai Madzokere and Yvonne Musarurwa are among the activists who sustained injuries during torture in police custody. Madzokere suffered a broken arm and Musarurwa had visible wounds consistent with severe assault.
Makedenge, the other officer named in court, was linked to the 2008 abduction of human rights activist Jestina Mukoko and dozens of others. He was also linked to the abductions of several MDC supporters in Harare. This history is believed to have led to Makedenge’s removal from a UN peacekeeping operation in Sudan.
In court on Tuesday, defence lawyers questioned why investigating officer Ntini had ignored a ruling made last year at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts, which stipulated that he investigate allegations by some of the accused that they had been assaulted and tortured by these two abusive cops while in custody.
Questioned by lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa, Ntini also failed to name the informers whose information led to the arrest of the 29 MDC-T members jailed for the Glen View cop’s murder.