Two Hwange residents who were shot by police in August are seeking justice and compensation four months after the horrific incidents.
Zulani Mudenda (46) and Twaboni Nyoni (26), both from Madumabisa Village 2 suburb, were shot by officers from the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) on 22 August.
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The police officers who shot at the two women were on an operation against illegal coke vendors in the area. The two, however, say they are not involved in the trade.
Nyoni was hit by a stray bullet while sitting at home. Mudenda was however deliberately shot by a police officer as she walked home from work. The officer went on to assault her. Mudenda said:
I was walking from work to my house and, when I was just close to getting in, I saw a police officer approaching from the opposite direction.
He was close to me and he instructed me to immediately stop where I was. Before I could respond, he shot me with his gun that he was carrying.
I was shot on the stomach and I fell down. Since it was just the two of us on the road, I asked him why he shot me and he became cheeky and violent. He kicked me all over my body with his boots, telling me to keep quiet.
It became more painful when he started to kick me where the bullet wound was and that’s when I grabbed his trousers while lying on the ground, begging him to stop, but he did not.
Mudenda said the police simply walked away after the shooting incident and three hours later, her husband and a neighbour sourced transport to take her to Hwange Colliery Hospital.
Staff at the hospital demanded ZW$36 000 before attending to her saying the money was for five pints of blood transfusion and drips.
Mudenda’s employer, Zambezi Gas volunteered to pay the money and she was attended to around 2 AM.
She was later ferried to Mater Dei Hospital in Bulawayo where she was operated on.
She had experienced “bowel perforations plus total transections and open pelvic (comminuted) fracture” from the shot, an affidavit signed after a scan was conducted at United Bulawayo Hospitals (UBH), stated.
Meanwhile, Nyoni said her shooting deprived her seven-month-old son of the opportunity to grow fully on breast milk after the gunshot ravaged her right breast. She said:
The incident occurred around 8 pm and I was seated by the door in front of my house plucking out feathers of a chicken that I had just slaughtered.
I saw some police officers on the road arguing with some people, accusing them of selling coke.
I heard a loud gunshot and immediately felt some excruciating pain on my right breast.
I did not understand what had happened until I was told that I had been shot. I was bleeding a lot until I lost consciousness.
My child was only three months old but I was forced to wean him and introduce meals to him due to that injury…
Prisca Dube of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) has written letters of complaint to the officer-in-charge of Hwange Police Station, demanding that the involved officers be held accountable for their unlawful actions.