Police accused of killing tout held in custody

BANKET – Three members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) special constabulary are facing allegations of killing a suspect in their custody at Banket Police Station.

The suspect, David Kanyenze (26), was a tout for pirate taxis. 

He was arrested for damaging a weighing scale at a butchery three weeks ago. He escaped from the police cells, but was re-arrested on Friday.

According to his older brother, Brian Kanyenze, three ZRP Neighbourhood Watch Committee (NWC) members beat him up severely using unidentified objects, taking turns. 

One of them choked him by stomping on his neck twice.

The police officers tried to hide the murder by opening a sudden death docket (SDD), but the relatives of the deceased demanded a full investigation.

The suspect was taken to Banket District Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. His brother said he was not informed about his arrest, assault or hospitalization. 

He learned about his death from other sources.

“As relatives, we were never informed about our brother’s arrest, assault and later admission to hospital. We demand justice against the killers because we are fully aware of attempts to cover up the murder,” said Brian, who learned of his brother’s death through the grapevine.

He said he was deeply hurt by his brother's death and wanted justice for him.

"I am deeply hurt. Even if he was a vagabond, he didn't deserve to die in this manner. He was young, aged only 26, and at that age to err is expected. He could have gone to jail for his offense and came out a reformed person," he said.

The ZRP national spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, could not be reached for comment.

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