By Alex Bell
17 August 2011
An MDC-T councillor in Bulawayo has been arrested and beaten by police over the alleged murder of an unidentified person.
Ward 29 Councillor Monica Lubimbi was arrested early Tuesday morning by homicide officers and taken to Donnington police station. SW Radio Africa’s correspondent Lionel Saungweme said that Lubimbi has been seriously beaten and needs medical attention.
Lubimbi was taken to Bulawayo Central police station on Wednesday and charged with collaborating with the murder of the unknown individual. Saungweme reported that at least five other people have also been arrested in connection with the death, and they are also being detained.
“Sources told me that Lubimbi was seriously assaulted with the butt of a rifle and with a drink bottle. She had swelling on her knees and elbows and was seen today with blood on her clothing,” Saungweme said.
Saungweme added that police have tried to cover up the fact that Lubimbi was beaten, by forcing her to wash the blood off when they heard a lawyer had been called. But Saungweme explained that Lubimbi could barely walk.
“A person who is thought to be responsible for bringing the councillor into this, is a person who is alleged to have asked for financial assistance from her council, which was denied,” Saungweme explained.
He added: “At this point it may be sour grapes that she has been caught up in this situation.”
Lubimbi is expected to appear for a remand hearing at the Bulawayo magistrate’s court on Friday. Her lawyer meanwhile is set to make an urgent application at the High Court for her bail. Until then, she will be held at Donnington police station.