A 55-year-old man from Kuwadzana suburb died mysteriously at Warren Park police station after he had been taken there following a dispute with traffic police over a US$10 fine for non-working brake lights.
BY PHYLLIS MBANJE
Noel Ruzvidzo is said to have complained of sudden sharp pains in his chest before he collapsed and died.
According to his younger brother Enoch Ruzvidzo, Noel had been flagged down at a police roadblock along the Harare-Bulawayo road as he was driving into town on Thursday.
“After they stopped him, they told him that his brake lights were not working and asked him to pay some money. He called his wife’s sister Joyce Mutenda in distress,” he said.
Mutenda said she received the call around 9am in the morning from her brother-in-law.
“He told me that the police were threatening to detain him in police cells if he failed to pay them US$50,” she said, struggling to come to terms with the loss.
She later got a call from the police telling her that Noel had collapsed and she should come to the station.
It is believed that after he failed to pay the requested money he was driven to Warren Park police station.
“According to the police, before he was even made to sit on the bench at the station he cried out saying his chest was painful and he collapsed,” Enoch said.
Relatives said they were not satisfied with the explanation given by the police since there were too many inconsistencies.
“When I got to the police station they told me the fine was US$10 but my sister-in-law says when he called he said they had asked for US$50. Then after he had collapsed they claimed to have rushed him to a nearby Suburban hospital but there is no evidence they ever went there,” Enoch said.
The relatives were also not amused that his body had then been bundled in the back seat of his vehicle, a Honda Civic.
“I requested to see his body and was so pained to see him crammed in the back seat like that,” he said shaking his head.
The visibly upset family members said they were also irked by the fact that the police seemed unconcerned and did not even bother to come to the funeral.
Police at Warren Park referred this newspaper to one Inspector Pamire who is the officer in charge for the provincial public relations office for comment.
Pamire could not be reached yesterday.