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Suspected armed robbers see hell

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SHOCKING revelations emerged at the Bulawayo Regional Court yesterday when a robbery suspect arrested in July last year told regional magistrate Trinos Wutawashe that they were tortured by prison wardens and repeatedly informed that they had no rights.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Richard Fambirai (33) of Nketa alleged that they were harassed and made to do press-ups in front of others and told they could not report to anyone because they had no rights as prisoners.

Fambirai, Morgan Zulani Ndlovu (33) of Hillside, Bruce Ziyambi (37) of Entumbane and Daniel Nkosi (22) of Mzilikazi were charged with three counts of armed robbery.

But only three were in court as Ndlovu was said to be mentally unstable and needed to be examined by a doctor.

Fambirai pleaded with the magistrate to grant him permission to see a doctor for treatment saying he was seriously assaulted by the police during his arrest and has never sought medical attention since July.

“When I was arrested, police assaulted me and I suffered serious injuries on my hand and head and was taken to hospital,” he said.

“While I was at the hospital before getting enough treatment, the police came and took me.

“Since last year I have not received any treatment as each time I told prison officers that I needed to go to hospital they would say they do not have fuel to take me to the hospital.”

Wutawashe told Fambirai that he had noted his pleas and should be taken to hospital for examination and treatment.

Fambirai told the court that prison officers always told them that they had no rights at all.

“The prison guards also treat us badly, they make us jump in front of other prisoners and they tell us that we have no rights whenever we ask for anything,” he said.

The magistrate lashed out at the prison officers over their behaviour telling them to treat all prisoners as human beings.

“You are doing the wrong thing; you hear what he is saying?” said Wutawashe speaking directly to prison officers in court.

“Why do you do that to human beings? We cannot have these things occurring to human beings.

“We have heard a lot of prisoners complaining that prison officers do this, prosecutors do this.

“You must learn to treat all people equally. There is no human being who must be treated unfairly,” lashed Wutawashe.

He ordered that Fambirai be taken to hospital before his next court appearance on March 26.

Allegations against the four are that they robbed Najma Lunat at her flat along Josiah Tongogara Street in Bulawayo.

Ndlovu also allegedly shot Aisha Lunat in the stomach during the same robbery and fled.

Lunat had an operation to remove the bullet.

The four gained entry into the flat by pretending to be Zesa workers fixing electrical faults.

Lunat reported the matter to the police who responded swiftly.

Detectives apprehended Nkosi after shooting him in the thighs when he ignored several warning shots.

Fambiari was also arrested after hiding the firearm he had used. Ziyambi was arrested on July 26 and he led police to Suburbs where Ndlovu was apprehended.

Ndlovu led police to a rubbish dump where a 32 Ruby revolver and 38 Special Colt revolver were recovered.

Ziyambi led police to Makokoba where a Smith and Wesson revolver they had stolen from Burnside was recovered.

On August 6, Fambiari led police to Barbour Road in Parkview where a 9mm FN Browing pistol loaded with five rounds of ammunition was recovered.

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