HARARE – Acquitted Glen View murder suspects have notified Augustine Chihuri, the commissioner general of police, of their intention to sue after spending over two years in prison under inhuman conditions.
The acquitted suspects said they wore clothes which exposed their privates, lost their jobs and were subjected to ill-prepared non nutritious food while in prison.
Twenty-one out of 29 MDC activists who were on trial for the murder of inspector Petros Mutedza, who was murdered in 2011, were released by Justice Chinembiri Bhunu who said some were arrested even though they had provided alibis which were confirmed, while others were arrested without incriminating evidence.
Five of the 21 have written demanding $65 000 each for the emotional stress they went through in remand and defamation of their characters.
Kembo Mohadi, the Home Affairs minister, is also cited as a respondent.
Tendai Chinyama, Augustine Tengenyika, Lovemore Taruvinga, Nyamadzawo Gapare and Francis told Chihuri and Mohadi that if the demands are not met “action in this regard will leave us no option but to institute proceedings without further notice to you.”
The case is being handled by the public interest litigation unit of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR).
According to Tengenyika, despite confirmation of his alibi, the police officers proceeded to his place of residence and conducted a search which “did not yield any incriminating material.
“As a result of false charges levelled against him by members of the ZRP, he spent a total of 10 months on remand at Harare Remand Prison, during which time he was subjected to inhuman degrading conditions including solitary confinement, wearing tattered clothing which exposed his privates and left him at the mercy of the elements as well as ill prepared food,” the notice reads.
The five allege that their names were soiled for many months as they were associated with murder of an officer of the law, and their acquittal does not negate the wrong done to their good names.
Chinyama also said he lost his job due to the prolonged detention.
“… and he is currently not employed, a situation which has left his family destitute as he was the principal breadwinner,” reads the notice.
Seven of the suspects are still under trial, while one Rebecca Mafukeni died in custody.