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Detained soldier tortured to death

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A soldier who was serving a 40-day sentence for an undisclosed offence at Induna Detention Barracks on the outskirts of Bulawayo died due to torture, a post-mortem report has revealed.

BY SILAS NKALA

Alfonce Nhengo (29) fell ill while in detention and died at the United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH).

This was revealed during an inquest hearing into Nhengo’s death at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court last Friday.

A post-mortem report produced by a government pathologist Sanganayi Pesanayi revealed Nhengo was severely assaulted leading to his death.

Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove postponed the matter to June 4 to allow for Nhengo’s relatives, army officials and police details to come and testify.

The post-mortem report gleaned by Southern Eye quotes Pesanayi as saying the soldier’s death was due to torture.

“I examined the remains of Alfonce Nhengo on April 28, 2014 at UBH and as a result of the forgoing examination I am of the opinion that the cause of death was bronchial aspiration, compartment syndrome and severe assault,” Pesanayi said.

He recommended that police should investigate the death.

Prosecutor Jeremaih Mutsindikwa said Nhengo of Masvingo who was based at 11 Infantry Battalion at Induna Barracks in Bulawayo died at the UBH sometime in April 2014.

“The deceased was a member of the ZNA (Zimbabwe National Army) serving a 40-day sentence at the Induna Detention Barracks,” Mutsindikwa said.

“He became ill and was taken to UBH where he died. Members in the ZNA asked the doctor to perform a post-mortem without reporting the matter to the police.

“On July 14, 2014 the relatives of the deceased later reported the matter to the police after they failed to get full circumstances surrounding his death.

“Police at Queens Park started investigations and obtained a post-mortem report which shows that the cause of death was due to bronchial aspiration, compartment syndrome and severe assault.”

Relatives suspect Nhengo was fatally tortured by his workmates.

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