THE body of Stephen Tonera, a former employee of opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) member of parliament Roy Bennett, still lies in the mortuary two months after his death, the Zim
babwe Independent has learnt.
Tonera was allegedly beaten to death by suspected state agents in retribution against MDC supporters after the stayaway of March 18/19. The incident took place on Bennett’s Farm in Ruwa on March 20.
His body still lies at Harare Central Hospital mortuary awaiting a post-mortem. Bennett said police must authorise a post-mortem.
“The pathologist must be contacted by the investigating officer for the post-mortem to be carried out,” Bennett said.
He also criticised the police for their delay in investigating the incident and conducting the post-mortem.
“The post-mortem must occur. What kind of country do we live in if people can be beaten to death with axe handles and logs and nothing happens?” Bennett asked. “The police must stop delaying the investigation of this case. Enough is enough, we are sick and tired of police inaction in the face of political violence,” he said.
Bennett said he had tried to seek assistance from deputy Minister of Home Affairs Rugare Gumbo to expedite the arrest of the alleged murderers and the performance of a post-mortem but to no avail. Gumbo said the issue was only raised in parliament.
“It was only raised in parliament as a question,” said Gumbo.
“I told Bennett that the police do not discriminate. That was as far as I went but the right people to talk to on this issue are the police,” he said.
Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Wayne Bvudzijena, said the police did not have any record of Tonera.
“I have checked with the police in Ruwa and hospitals in Harare and they all say there is no such person. I doubt the authenticity of that report by Bennett that the person was murdered,” said Bvudzijena.