A Harare magistrate has ordered that an independent investigator should probe the attempted abduction of Patson Dzamara, brother to missing political activist, Itai Dzamara.
This comes as police who had been tasked to investigate the matter failed to produce a satisfactory report. During an initial court appearance on alleged robbery charges against Dzamara and four others, made sensational claims, through his lawyer Obey Shava, that a Criminal Investigations Department (CID) Law and Order boss identified as Chafa had made foiled attempts to kidnap him.
Dzamara is jointly charged with Oliver Chikumba, 32, Tatenda Mombeyarara, 33, Pride Mukono, 26, and Makomborero Haruzivishe, 33, on two counts of robbery and defeating the course of justice.The five were arrested during a demonstration code-named #Occupy Africa Unity Square, through which they registered their displeasure on how President Robert Mugabe has run down the country.
“On the initial remand, the accused persons raised complaints relating to assault, denied medication access and an attempted abduction by inspector Chafa… on the midnight of June 8,” Shava said. “The court ordered the State to investigate and file a report but they have refused to comply and this matter should not proceed to trial unless they address that important issue,” he said, adding that “the report which we were furnished with by the State does not identify who prepared it, the organisation where it emanated from whether it is ZRP or somewhere else around town.”
Shava told the court that investigations would not be impartial because junior officers in Chafa’s office were the ones who had been ordered to look into their boss’ issue.“Junior officers in Chafa’s office brought a ridiculous report of their findings claiming that their superior could not have participated in the abduction because he does not have a licence,” Shava added.
“Further to that, the accused persons did not take part in the whole investigative process as they were never interviewed yet they are the subject of the matter,” he said.“The accused persons even told the court that they had evidence and could positively identify who attempted to abduct them and the vehicle that was used. Why has police not interviewed them?”
Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that on June 9, at around midnight, the two complainants disembarked from a commuter omnibus at Fourth Street bus terminus in Harare.They passed through Africa Unity Square on their way to Copacabana bus terminus to get transport to Mufakose. Dzamara and his accomplices, Mutizirwa said, then confronted the complainants and snatched their handbags before searching them.
They allegedly stole three ladies school uniforms, a red jersey, pair of trousers, jean skirt and wallet with $30. The other complainant lost three school jerseys and one floral dress.
When the complainants screamed for help three police officers who were on duty near Parliament rushed to the scene.The accused persons resisted arrest and took away constable Nhidza’s cap and baton while dragging him to a silver Honda Fit along Jason Moyo Avenue.
Dzamara and his accomplices were later arrested and police recovered the stolen property valued $80.