FIVE Zimbabwe Republic Police officers who were implicated in the chilling torture of a 10-year-old boy from Norton as first reported by the Zimbabwe Independent a fortnight ago are facing assault charges.
The trial date for the police officers based at Katanga in Norton, who appeared at the Norton Magistrates Court last week, has been set for next Thursday.
The police officers are being charged under Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act for allegedly assaulting the boy on the night of September 15 on allegations of stealing a Nokia C3 phone.
Some of the police officers named in the alleged assault that shocked the police and public are William Kamujariwa and Jotham Masiku.
According to Section 89 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act: “Any person who commits an assault upon another person intending to cause that other person bodily harm or realising that there is a real risk or possibility that bodily harm may result;
“Or (b) threatens, whether by words or gestures, to assault another person, intending to inspire, or realising that there is a real risk or possibility of inspiring, in the mind of the person threatened a reasonable fear or belief that force will immediately be used against him or her; shall be guilty of assault and liable to a fine up to or exceeding level 14 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 10 years or both.”
Medical reports by a government doctor at Norton District Hospital showed that the boy suffered bruises and injuries.
Prominent human rights lawyer Kennedy Masiye from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who is representing the Norton boy and another 11-year-old boy from Chitungwiza who was also brutally assaulted by the police for allegedly stealing a bicycle, confirmed the police officers appeared before the Norton courts last week and a trial date has been set for next Thursday.
Masiye said: “The accused persons were told to look for legal representation and a trial date had been set for Thursday next week. We had one query, that one officer Bhamu, who also allegedly beat the victim, was not on the accused persons list.
“I am made to understand that he has now been added. We have also filed a notice of intention to sue the police and we are demanding about US$30 000.”
Sources close to the investigations said the accused police officers were hauled before an internal disciplinary hearing at the Police General Headquarters in Harare this week.
Efforts to get a comment from national police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba were fruitless as she was said to be in a meeting all day.