BY CHARLES LAITON
HOME Affairs minister Cain Mathema and Commissioner-General of police Godwin Matanga have been taken to the High Court by the family of an artisanal gold miner who was shot and killed by a retired police officer at Chiadzwa diamond fields last month.
The family is seeking a court order to compel the law enforcers to conduct a post-mortem on their deceased relative and release the body for burial.
According to the court papers, the now deceased Terrence Masendeke was on May 15, 2019 allegedly killed by one Dulula Chinamano in full view of his colleagues as he attempted to flee an area where police were raiding illegal miners in the protected Chiadzwa diamond fields.
Masendeke’s uncle, Richard recently filed a court application seeking a court order to compel Matanga, Mathema and officer-in-charge for Marange Police Station to conduct a post-mortem to establish the cause of death although it is apparent that he was shot and killed at point blank.
In the court application, Richard also cited clinical director for Mutare General Hospital and Health permanent secretary as co-respondents.
Masendeke said he feared that his nephew’s body would decompose since the police had indicated that it could only be examined by a pathologist on June 25, 2019 due to the shortage of specialist doctors in the country.
“We are dissatisfied with how the State is failing to provide doctors to carry out the post-mortem. The deceased’s body is decomposing making it increasingly futile to carry out the post-mortem. We fear foul play given Chinamano’s close relations with the police as he worked with them to secure the prohibited area,” Masendeke said.
“…We are traumatised by the ongoing delay in carrying out the post-mortem because it means we cannot bury our nephew. Family members have come from afar to bury him and want to go home having buried their relative.”
In his founding affidavit, Richard said on the day in question and at around 10am his late nephew was with a group of miners in the Chiadzwa area when security guards and police officers approached and dispersed them claiming they were close to a prohibited mining area.
“The now deceased tried to run away, but was shot in the back and leg several times by Chinamano and died on the spot. His body was taken into the custody of police at Marange Police
Station and Chinamano was arrested,” Richard said.
“However the police have not kept us, as family members, informed with regard the current status and or outcome of any criminal proceedings against him (Chinamano). I fear that they may
be rushing the case without all relevant witnesses being called to give evidence.”
The matter is pending.