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MAN KILLED AT STATE HOUSE : FAMILY DEMANDS ANSWERS newsdzeZimbabweNewsdzeZimbabwe


A HARARE family has accused government security agents of
murdering their son at or near State House in Harare last week.

State House is mostly guarded by members of the military’s
Presidential Guard unit, Central Intelligence Organisation and Zimbabwe
Republic Police.

The Musendo family of Mufakose says since their son’s
murder last week, they have been moved from one office to another as no one
wants to take responsibility.

Allegations are that on August 19, Levy Musendo (35), a
“mentally-challenged person but stable and on medication” left the family’s
Mufakose home to carry out some errands. He did not return home.

The next morning, his father, Job Musendo, received a phone
call from an unidentified police officer at Harare Central Police Station, that
his son had been arrested and detained.

Job was advised to bring fresh clothing and food for his
son. He also took with him his son medical records that showed he was a mental
patient.

At 9am, Job arrived at Harare Central Police Station and
sought to see his son, but that was to be the beginning of his woes.

At first, he was told he could not see his son “as the police
holding cells wherein he was allegedly held were off bounds,” according to a
letter of complaint by the family’s lawyers Kadzere, Hungwe and Mandevere Legal
Practitioners dated August 24.

It is addressed to Officer Commanding Harare Central
District, Chief Superintendent Moyo, Officer Commanding Harare Metropolitan
Province, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, Justice minister Ziyambi
Ziyambi and Defence minister Oppah Muchinguri.

“Mr Job Musendo and his wife were subsequently shuffled
from pillar to post, from one office to the other for the greater part of the
day and were eventually advised that their child had been taken to Parirenyatwa
Group of Hospitals for medical attention as he had some severe injuries and was
bleeding profusely from the nose and mouth,” the lawyers stated.

They inquired as to the cause of the injuries, but the
officers attending to them were evasive, only to be told later that Levy had
been injured while “attempting to break into the Zimbabwe State House at No 1
Chancellor Avenue” the lawyers said.

After spending much of the day at the police station, they
were led into the office of Chief Superintendent Moyo at around 4pm, who broke
the news of their son’s death.

Job and his wife again requested to seeLevy’s body, but
were not afforded the opportunity and, instead, told that “the body was in the
custody of the State”.

They eventually left and went back home without seeing
their son’s body.

On Sunday, they went back to Harare Central, but the law
enforcement agents were still evasive.

Other family members made concerted efforts to see the body
at Parirenyatwa to no joy as nurses who spoke on condition of anonymity, “made
it clear that there had been uniformed military personnel at the hospital who
had brought the deceased’s body to the hospital and sternly warned anyone
against disclosing the fact that the deceased was already dead at the time he
was taken to Parirenyatwa and also that there were strict instructions that no
one should be allowed to view his remains”.

It was only on Monday that he was allowed to view the body
“under police escort”.

“On viewing the remains, he was only shown the face which
presented with a deep cut around the mouth area and on requesting to see the
rest of the body, he was denied this opportunity and advised that the mortuary
attendant had strict instructions to only allow him to see the face for
purposes of identification,” the family’s lawyers stated in their letter.

Job was then told that a post-mortem would be done the next
day, August 23.

The lawyers argue that the Musendos were advised of their
son’s death on August 20, 2022 at around 4pm, but the application for
post-mortem examination showed that he had died on August 20, 2022 at 2140
hours.

“How could the time of death be coming after the
announcement of the death? What should come first, the death or the announcement?”
the lawyers queried.

The application for post-mortem examination also states
that the now-deceased died at Parirenyatwa casualty department.

The lawyers pointed out that entries made by a pathologist
showed that the time of death “had been altered from 1442 hours to 2142 hours
using a blank ink pen.

Mortuary order No 225/22 signed by the pathologist on duty
stated that Levy’s death “was not due to natural causes”.

The family lawyers also said Levy’s body was accompanied to
Parirenyatwa by a Zimbabwe Republic Police Form 234 — Request for Medical
Report to make it look as if he was alive when he was taken to hospital.

Also attached was what was supposed to be a registration
form for patients on admission at Parirenyatwa.

On inquiry, the hospital database showed that Levy had not
been booked at the hospital that day or the previous one, and he was last
attended to at the casualty department on June 30 this year.

The pathologist, the lawyers say, outlined Levy’s death as
“severe epigastric trauma”, which is “haemorrhage to internal stomach organs.”.

“It leaves our client with no other option but to conclude
that his son must have been subjected to severe assault, resulting in such a
state of affairs and that his child was a victim of murder at the hands of
State functionaries stationed at State House,” the lawyers said.

The family now wants access to a full and detailed
post-mortem report.

It also wants to view his whole body.

“State House security is a high security area with closed
circuit televisions all around. We cannot phantom that such an event as an
alleged break into State House would miss the lens of the multitude of cameras
dotted around State House. In that vein, we request that our client be allowed
supervised access to the relevant video footage that shows the now-deceased
allegedly trying to break into State House as outlined in the documents
attached hereto,” the lawyers further demanded.

They also want a full inquiry leading to their son’s death.

Levy is yet to be buried as the family is demanding
justice. His body lies at the morgue at Parirenyatwa.

Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi on
Thursday confirmed receiving a report in connection with Musendo’s death saying
they were investigating the “unfortunate incident.” Standard

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