The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has made huge climb down from its earlier remarks that the Sky News video that showed police and army officers assaulting a handcuffed civilian was a 2016 footage.
In a statement released last night, Police Spokesperson Charity Charamba said their investigating team had established that the video footage was shot during the recent police and army crackdown on civilians.
“Earlier reports had indicated that the video was shot in 2016, however upon further clarification from the investigating team it was established that the video was actual shot on Saturday 26 January 2019. Investigations are widening to account for the remaining members of the security services captured in the video,” said Charamba.
In the Sky News video that has since gone viral, a soldier and two police officers are seen assaulting a handcuffed civilian.
Addressing the media in the capital yesterday, national police spokesperson Commissioner Charity Charamba Tuesday afternoon dismissed the Sky News video as a 2016 footage adding that the commuter omnibus shown had changed ownership three times.
“We also have an issue about a Sky News video footage which was on Sky News yesterday and we have also gathered information that this incident occurred in July 2016 and the omnibus crew were identified as I am speaking right now we traced through the registration number of that vehicle and we have traced the identity of the owner of the omnibus, … he confirmed that there was an incident, yes but it was during the rounding up of touts…” Charamba said.
Late Tuesday, in a statement to the media, Charamba climbed down from her earlier statement confirming that the Sky News video was indeed shot on the 26th of January this year.
Charamba said the police officer appearing in the video clad in civilian clothes was identified as Constable Makumire was on suspension when he committed the offense and that he has since been arrested.
“Constable Makumire is seen in the video clad in civilian attire with a satchel strapped on his back assaulting the victim. The police member was not on official duty during the time of offense as he is on suspension. He has since been arrested and is assisting the police with investigations into the current case,” Charamba said.
President Emmerson Mnangagwa on Monday described the Sky News video footage as ‘appalling’, charging that the perpetrators should be brought to book.