Police blamed over protestor´s death

Opposing the cricket world cup games in Zim cost Edison Mukwazi his life

Andrew Meldrum
The Guardian
5 February 2003 E-Mail this page to a friend

Mukwazi was arrested by police at the Harare Sports Club where they were distributing leaflets describing Mugabe's human rights abuses
A young Zimbabwean has died as a result of alleged police torture after he was arrested at the Zimbabwe-Pakistan match in November for campaigning against the World Cup cricket matches being played here. His mother Ellen Mayambirwi is reported to have said that Edison Mukwazi, 29, died in hospital on Sunday from lung and liver injuries inflicted by police.

Mukwazi and two others were arrested by police at the Harare Sports Club where they were distributing leaflets describing the human rights abuses committed by President Robert Mugabe's government. They were campaigning for the World Cup matches to be moved away from Zimbabwe because of Mugabe's human rights record. They were held by police for suspected public disorder and while being held they were allegedly tortured before being released without charges.

Recently at least 10 MDC members, including two MPs and one lawyer, have reported electric-shock torture by police
Mukwazi was a dedicated supporter of the opposition party, the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC). He had been the chairman of the party's youth wing in Harare. He is survived by his wife and a two-week-old daughter. The alleged torture was not Mukwazi's first experience of mistreatment at the hands of police. In 2001 he was one of 13 MDC youths who were arrested by police for allegedly killing a member of Mugabe's ruling Zanu PF party. They were badly beaten and dumped in the middle of the dangerous Gona-Re-Zhou National Park. Later they appeared in court but were set free.

In recent weeks at least 10 members of the MDC, including two members of parliament and one lawyer, have reported electric-shock torture by police. Their charges have been supported by medical examinations which confirm injuries consistent with their harrowing accounts of torture.

In response to the public outcry about the rising number of allegations of state torture, the Zimbabwe police last week announced they would investigate the charges that they tortured an opposition member of parliament, Job Sikhala. But the opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai dismissed that as a "whitewash". He said the police could not be trusted to investigate themselves over a single allegation and called for an independent judicial inquiry into all the torture allegations which he said should be led by a retired judge.

Tsvangirai, who is currently on trial for treason along with two of his party officials for allegedly conspiring to have Mugabe assassinated, also called on the United Nations and other international organisations to launch investigations into the reports of state torture.

The original was published on the Zimbabwe Information Centre website

Previous Visitor Comments

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This strikes me as one of the more uuorftnnate symptoms of a press claiming neutrality: the attempt to use objective language. Any economist trying to make the case that it isn’t Mugabe’s doing is either playing one of those annoying academic contrarian mind games, or is just incompetent.

Charles Coxnot_at_giv.enAnd still it goes on!
Will the lunacy never end?

Jaco functionality
Iíve now added the comment and voting functionality to this old page as well. So, please feel free to join the debate - the issue is as relevant today as it had been a decade ago. Probably now even more so!

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