30 January 2019
Arron Nyamayaro and Shalom Manguni
Victims of alleged sexual abuse, assault and rape by security services during the recent civil unrest are free to come forward and report their cases.
In a statement, police Commissioner Charity Charamba said the alleged reports have not been brought to their attention to allow investigations to be conducted and the law to take its course.
Comm Charamba was flanked by Victim Friendly Unit officer Commissioner Isabella Nyarai Sergio and director of Msasa Project Netty Musanhu when she delivered the statement.
“Let it be known that no one is above the law be it bona fide or bogus members of the security services, or civilians.
“Any abuse should be reported to the police with a view to arrest the perpetrator, gather evidence and initiate interventions for the victim to receive medical care,” she said.
Comm Charamba made it clear that all cases reported will be handled in a professional manner which accords victims full protection of the law and privacy.
“Our Victim Friendly Unit is ready to investigate all such cases without fear or favour, to their logical conclusion.
“Some victims may be scared to report for one reason or the other, it might be fear of reprisals, stigma or mistrust but we are saying if such heinous acts are allowed to go unsolved they have lasting traumatic implications on the victims,” she said.
Comm Charamba said that no one is above the law and any member who violates the law will only have themselves to blame because the law will be applied without reservations.
“The law is clear, for each and every offence there should be redress or a penalty hence our passionate appeal to members of the public to report,” she added.
She denied reports in some sections of the media that those who have reported are being bullied and victimised.
“I have already highlighted that only one case of alleged sexual abuse was recorded at St Marys, Chitungwiza. Investigations are already in progress.
“It is not our in the culture of Zimbabwe Republic Police to sweep cases under the carpet, in fact when members of the fail to report we always appeal for information and when it is not forthcoming we are unable to act, “ she said.
Comm Charamba urged the public to report any cases of abuse and rape at any police station or directly to National Complaints Desk.
“We are also appealing to other stakeholders who might have information pertinent to our appeal to also come forward and assist.
“That assistance could be through encouraging those affected to their cases or actually drawing our attention to cases that might have been brought to them.
“Remember we can only rid ourselves of all forms of unethical behavior in our society if we collectively take the necessary action to expose, condemn and make those responsible accountable,” she said.
Comm Charamba dismissed a video clip flirted by Sky News saying the clip was recorded in 2016 and have since approached the owner of the vehicle for further investigations.
Musanhu urged victims to come forward since they are partners in fighting crime along with police saying no one has ever reached their organisation that implements gender-based violence in the country.
Adult rape clinic sister in charge Rudo Mashingaidze also urged any victims of rape and assault by security agents to come forward saying their services are highly confidential and free of charge.