Journalist seeks Chombo’s help

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Ignatius Chombo
Ignatious Chombo
Ignatious Chombo

A Bulawayo-based journalist has lodged a complaint with Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo after he was allegedly assaulted by police officers while carrying out his duties.

BY SILAS NKALA

Crispen Ndlovu, a freelance journalist claims he was assaulted by about 11 police officers while taking pictures in the city centre.

According to the letter to Chombo prepared by Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights lawyer, Lizwe Jamela, dated July 20, Ndlovu sustained injuries on his fingers and hand.

The letter was copied to officer commanding Bulawayo district and Commissioner-General of Police, Augustine Chihuri.

“Our client is a duly accredited freelance journalist,” reads part of the later.

“He advises us that on this unfortunate day (July 1), he was moving around Bulawayo city centre doing his journalistic work when he came across a group of police officers and he counted a total of 11 officers, three females and eight males.”

Jamela said the journalists saw the police officers assaulting a suspect in an alley along Herbert Chitepo Street and 4th Avenue at around 5pm.

“Our client advises us that he started exercising his constitutional right by shooting pictures of this disturbing police behaviour noting that it was in the public interest to expose such behaviour,” Jamela wrote.

“As if that was not enough, your officers on realising that they had been captured on camera, left the suspect they were assaulting and turned the heat on our client instead.

“Your officers approached our client wielding baton sticks and started assaulting our client all over the body while one lady officer punched him on the stomach with clenched hands.”

Ndlovu’s clothes were torn in the process.

“Our client’s hand and fingers got injured and the camera got damaged in the process,” Jamela wrote.

“The assault continued until one officer finally came to his rescue and ordered the other officers to stop assaulting our client.

“One of the lady officers involved in the assault walked into the police station as our client was making a report and she was identified as Ncube T.”

Jamela said he had been advised that the report was made under reference IR 5412/15.

“We are made to understand that investigations are still in progress at the moment and a medical report has already been compiled by a doctor,” Jamela wrote.

Jamela said he believed the conduct by the officers brought the whole police institution into disrepute and proper remedial action should be taken to render justice to his client.

The journalist has threatened to sue the Zimbabwe Republic Police if his case is not handled properly.

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