(Last Updated on January 6, 2021 by GERALD NCUBE)
HARARE – The Zimbabwe Republic Police has dismissed social media claims that one of its officers fatally battered a baby who was strapped on her mother’s back on Monday while dispersing people from an illegal pick up point in Harare.
A video showing a raging mother wrestling with a police officer claimed to have hit the infant has been circulating on social media sparking wide criticism against the ZRP.
Police have, however, released a statement refuting the claims that a baby was killed.
Instead, Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said the baby was hit by glass fragments when an officer hit a kombi windscreen but did not sustain any life-threatening injuries.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police has taken note of the social media post titled ‘Police Officer strikes, kills little baby with a baton in Harare’ The public is advised that comprehensive investigations conducted by the police command has revealed that a team of police officers was on traffic enforcement duties along Second Street near Bindura bound commuter rank, Harare on 4th January 2021 at 12 noon when one of the members tried to arrest a kombi crew for picking passengers at an undesignated point and contravening COVID-19 regulations.
“The member smashed a windscreen on the kombi and the fragments hit the mother and the baby. A fracas occurred as the mother and members of the public remonstrated against the officers.
“After negotiations by the parties, the mother and the baby were taken to West End Clinic where medical checks revealed that no injuries had been sustained by the baby or mother. There were no life-threatening injuries to the two,” said Nyathi.
He added that the child was not dead and that the authorities had been in touch with medical experts and the mother.
“The child is not dead as alleged on social media and this has been confirmed by medical personnel who are now in touch with the police and parents. The child was checked by medical experts on the same day and was not admitted at the hospital,” added Nyathi.
Nyathi also said the police officers involved and the mother had decided not to report the incident.
He also stressed that the ZRP does not support the acts of smashing screens it’s officers and that action will be taken against the officers involved.
“The Zimbabwe Republic Police does not condone acts of smashing kombis’ windscreens and in the process endangering innocent members of the public’s lives.
“The ZRP reiterates that action will be taken against the errant police officers. The Zimbabwe Republic Police Command is now taking to task the concerned members to account for their actions,” he said.