Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha
Harare, Zimbabwe – In an incident that left residents of Rimuka, Kadoma shell-shocked, three plain-clothed policemen (names supplied) allegedly arrested and detained an 11-year old girl (name withheld for ethical reasons) for three hours accusing her of indecent exposure on July 7.
According to sources close to the incident, the three policemen arrested the girl who was wearing shorts at a supermarket at Rumwe Shopping Centre in Rimuka.
There was a scuffle between one of the policeman and the girl’s aunt who refused to let the policemen take the girl away. Sources told NewsDay that the police also had a scuffle with girl’s mother when she protested against the arrest. According to the girl’s mother, the policemen allegedly said that they had been aroused by the girl’s dressing hence the arrest.
The commotion allegedly attracted a huge crowd, and the three policemen did not bow insisting that the girl be taken into custody.
When the father of the girl arrived at the scene and also protested, he was threatened with arrest for interfering with the course of justice. In an interview with NewsDay, the girl’s father revealed that at the police station his daughter was told to sit behind a counter next to a man who had been arrested and was bleeding profusely.
“My daughter could not handle the pressure; she must have been very afraid, so she vomited. The policewomen told her to get a mop and wipe her vomit which was now mixed with blood. The policemen were evidently drunk, and they insisted that they had been aroused by the child’s dressing. They said they were trying to maintain law and order by arresting her,” he said.
The girl was only released after the intervention of the District Senior Police Officer who said that there were no grounds to arrest the girl. In an interview with NewsDay, Chief Supt Manzini Moyo, Officer Commanding District in Kadoma, denied that police had arrested the 11 year-old girl.
“We can confirm there was an arrest of that nature. I don’t have the details at the moment. We are actually looking into the issue. We will take internal disciplinary action. But it was an isolated incident,” said Chief Supt Manzini Moyo, Officer Commanding District.
“We have completed the investigations. It was not an arrest. There were rowdy youths who were booing, chanting and saying obscenities against the girl. The police intervened and tried to take her away from the scene. At that time, one of the parents protested which led to the altercation,” he added.