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High-speed police shootout: MP calls for probe

Bulawayo East legislator Ilos Nyoni has called for an investigation into the death of a 34-year-old Bulawayo man who was shot dead by police on Saturday night during a high-speed chase after he reportedly failed to comply with police orders to stop his vehicle.

Paul Munakopa, who was in the company of his fiancé Tracy Mufudzi was shot during a high-speed chase with police officers who were on patrol with members of the neighbourhood watch committee on Saturday night.

He succumbed to gunshot wounds at United Hospital Hospitals (UBH) on Sunday morning.

The police confirmed the incident adding that the “now-deceased man was found naked with his partner in their car.”

MP Nyoni called on the police and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) to investigate the conduct of the police officers.

“I call upon Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga, The Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission (ZHRC) and the National Peace and Reconciliation Commission (NPRC) to speedily institute investigations on the conduct of the police operatives in question. Offenders must be brought to book,” said Nyoni.

“Is it now policy that police shoot first and ask questions later? It is crystal clear that the couple had not committed any offence that deserved such heavy-handed treatment from the police. This unfortunate incident has left residents shocked and uncertain about their security. It was uncalled for. May his soul rest in peace.”

Nyoni noted that the conduct by the police contravenes Section 48 (1) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe which guarantees every citizen of the right to life.

“It is very unfortunate that Munakopa lost his life in the hands of those who were supposed to protect it. Section 219(1)(c) of the Constitution out of whom The Police Service Charter is derived, defines the functions of the police as “Protecting and securing the lives and property of the people”. The murder of Munakopa by police operatives thus is a clear violation of the right to life and a failure to carry out one’s duties,” he said.

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