Charged memorial for slain Byo man


©️ BULAWAYO – The family of a slain Bulawayo man yesterday said it would not rest until police officers who allegedly shot him are brought to book, the Daily News reports.

This comes as the police have expressed regret at the shooting which they said was “unfortunate”.

The shooting of 34-year-old Paul Munakopa has drawn widespread condemnation from rights groups and ordinary people in the city, who were recently horrified by images of the battered Mpofu sisters – following alleged beatings by police officers.

Speaking at an emotionally-charged sending off ceremony ahead of Paul’s burial at Athlone Cemetery yesterday, his uncle Anderson Mukopa, said they were determined to see justice prevail.

“Our son died in a very painful way. If death is surely from God, I want to understand why such befell our son.

“Such brutal way is no way to die. We are going to exhaust all constitutional and legal resources to attain justice. If these are not enough, we will engage spiritual avenues,” said Anderson who spoke on behalf Paul’s father.

Paul’s mother, Erica accused the police of recklessness and said it would be difficult to forgive them.

“Did this lockdown bring war and curfew? Well done to the policeman who shot Paul. I don’t know your name, but you will come and introduce yourself,” she charged.

After the memorial service at their Matsheumhlophe home, Paul’s family and friends drove the hearse towards Hillside Police Station where cops who allegedly shot him are stationed.

Paul was allegedly shot by police officers last weekend in one of Bulawayo’s low-density suburbs.

He succumbed to gunshot wounds.

The police have said he was shot after he failed to stop his car during a speed chase by detectives who were using an unmarked car.

The cops claimed that they found Paul with his girlfriend in a secluded area and when they tried to quiz him, he drove off the scene leading to a high-speed chase in Hillside Suburb.

However, his girlfriend Tracey Mufudzi has rejected the police version claiming that detectives neither identified themselves nor fired warning shots when they blocked their car.

The shooting of Paul came at a time police were already in a dog box following the alleged brutal assault of Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu on April 16, 2020 in Cowdray Park.

The Mpofu siblings alleged they were savagely beaten by police for having allegedly broken lockdown rules.

Meanwhile, Bulawayo East legislator Illos Nyoni has challenged the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to immediately institute investigations into Paul’s death.

“I… call upon police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga, the ZHRC and the NPRC to speedily institute investigations on the conduct of the police operatives in question.

“Offenders must be brought to book,” he said.

“The Constitution of Zimbabwe guarantees every citizen of the right to life and is very unfortunate that Munakopa lost his life in the hands of those who were supposed to protect it,” Nyoni said.

“The Police Service Charter further defines the functions of the police as: ‘Protecting and securing the lives and property of the people”’

“Thus, the (alleged) murder of Munakopa by police operatives is a clear violation of the right to life and a failure to do one’s duties,” Nyoni charged.

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