POLICE in Mutare allegedly tortured six Mbada Diamonds employees to extract information to implicate prominent Mutare businessman, Mudassar Khan who is accused of receiving stolen diamonds from the mine.
The six, Tendai Gwazaza, Temba Mvalo, Hardlife Kuudzehwe, Simbarashe Gondo, Talkmore Chigeza and Innocent Tsindi were picked up by the police for allegedly conniving with Khan, to steal diamonds from their employer.
The police also confiscated their vehicles, which they alleged were bought from diamond proceeds.
The six yesterday wrote letters to the Minister of Home Affairs Kembo Mohadi, Police Commissioner general Augustine Chihuri and the police officers who allegedly tortured them, notifying them of their intention to sue.
On Friday last week, they filed a High Court application demanding the release of their vehicles.
Chihuri, Assistant Commissioner Mvere, Chief Superintendent Nyamupaguma and Detective Inspectors Jachi and Nyoni are cited as respondents in the application. In their affidavits, the six, who are represented by Trust Maanda, claimed they were “heavily” tortured by the police and forced to make confessions implicating Khan.
“Yes, I can confirm that the six have filed their papers at the High Court. They were tortured by police as a way of forcing them to confess to statements that they had connived with Khan,” said Maanda.
Gwazaza, who is employed as a sorter supervisor by Mbada Diamonds, said: “They (police) boasted that they could kill me and nothing will happen to them by way of being arrested and tried. One of the investigating officers wielded a baton stick and told me to agree with what they were saying and admit the allegation.”
He further claimed: “He hit me on my back about once or twice. I saw that I was in great danger and I had to accede and submit.”
Gondo said he was subjected to assault while being handcuffed.
He said: “He Mvere produced a pistol from a laptop bag and pointed it at me. He told me to say my last prayer loudly before he shot me dead.
“I was terrified. It would take a man of superhuman fortitude not to feel terrified under the circumstances. I believed that I was going to be shot dead in a few minutes.”
Khan last month appeared before Mutare magistrate Sekai Chiwundura facing 12 counts of unlawful dealing in or possession of precious stones prohibited as defined in Section 3(1) (a) of the Precious Stones and Trade Act, Chapter 21.06. He is currently out on $3 000 bail.
This story was first published Apr 17, 2014