Journalist Clayton Masekesa Mud Smearing Assailants in Big Trouble

THE Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Zimbabwe National Army have instituted internal investigations into last Thursday’s kidnapping and assault case in which two cops and two soldiers allegedly teamed up with two Mutare municipal police officers to attack a freelance journalist over adultery allegations.

Clayton Masekesa
Clayed….Clayton Masekesa

Clayton Masekesa sustained some injuries following the alleged attack that occurred at House Humber 27 Robert Mugabe Road, Hospital Hill where he had gone to see a girlfriend.

The woman at the centre of the whole saga is allegedly a girlfriend to one of the municipal police officer who reportedly teamed up with his accomplices to bash the journalist after he found him at his house with his lover.

Although the case is now at the criminal courts, the police and the army said those implicated will face internal disciplinary hearings.

On Tuesday Saul Tomu (53), Penelock Majonhi (41), Everson Mark Marozva (33), Hope Mwaipa (33) Joachim Runyanga (35) and John Takaendesa (42) appeared before magistrate, Ms Perserverance Makala, facing kidnapping and assault charges.

They were asked not to plead and were remanded in custody pending bail hearing. Mwaipa and Runyanga are soldiers while Majoni and Marozva are traffic police officers. Tomu and Takaendesa are Mutare municipal cops.

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The six are facing assault and kidnapping or unlawful detention charges as defined in Section 93 (1) (b) (ii) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9:23.

Mr Fletcher Karombe prosecuted while Mutare lawyers, Mr Passmore Nyakureba and Mr Innocent Mandikate represented the suspects.

Allegations were that the complainant, Clayton Masekesa went to Tomu’s residence at 27 Robert Mugabe Road, Hospital Hill, Mutare to meet Tomu’s girlfriend Melanda Konde who had asked him to visit her.

“While at the house, Mwaipa and Runyanga asked Masekesa what he was doing at Tomu’s house in the latter’s absence.

“They then handcuffed Masekesa while Takaendesa video recorded the proceedings using his cell phone and used a baton stick and open hands several times to assault Masekesa all over the body. The three then ordered Masekesa to roll over wet mud.

“Tomu, Majonhi and Marozva came with a police Mitsubishi motor vehicle REG ZRP 093E and joined in assaulting Masekesa using open hands, accusing him of being in a love affair with Konde,” said Mr Karombe.

The army and the police said bad apples have no place in their rank and file. The security organisations said as soon as criminals procedures end, disciplinary action would be taken.   

3 Brigade public relations officer, Captain Moreblessings Mugumbate, said the ZNA was a professional organisation that does not condone criminality.

“Reference is made to your phone call question regarding the Mutare journalist who is alleged to have been subjected to a military-style punishment of being made to roll in the mud and being made to display condoms to the camera while being mocked for being a cheapskate.

In response we would like to state that the Zimbabwe National Army is a professional organisation that does not condone acts of indiscipline and criminality by its members.

“Any of its members caught on the wrong side of the law is subject to the country’s laws. Furthermore, internal disciplinary measures are also applied,” he said.

“Their alleged involvement in such an ugly act wasn’t within the confines of operations of the ZNA neither were they acting under directives from anyone from within the organisation.

“They (suspects) were not in any way representing the organisation.

They were not on duty at the time of committing the offence. -ManicaPost