TWO Zimbabwe Consolidated Diamond Company workers who were arrested on theft charges early this month after swallowing diamonds were subjected to horrific experiences in jail, their lawyer Christopher Ndlovu has said.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
Talent Deure (27) and Pfungwa Sithole (31), both from Mutare are facing contempt of court charges after they refused to undergo the medical process of computerised tomography and soap enema at Mutare Provincial Hospital.
They have been in custody since March 5, 2017 and appeared in court on a number of occasions until magistrate Innocent Bepura granted them $200 bail this week with the trial set for March 27.
However, the State applied for further detention, arguing the pair had defied a lawful court order.
On Wednesday Ndlovu admitted to the contempt of court charges before magistrate Tendai Mahwe, who granted them $120 bail each, but remanded them in custody until they comply with the order to undergo the computerised tomography and soap enema processes.
An emotionally-charged Ndlovu told the court that there was no way his clients were going to easily comply with a court order given the horror they endured.
“It is my understanding of medical law that a patient also has minimum rights, one of the rights is to be told everything relating to procedures to be taken. In this case, my clients were going to be pumped soap into the rectum, they were not told of the ramifications. How about if they are going to suffer from cancer 15 years later, the consequences?” argued Ndlovu.
“’You can pardon me, my lord, because the system has been failing from the State as they want foreign bodies from my clients’ bodies and all sorts of tricks being used, remember we are talking of removing all the clothes and pumping soap into their rectum.”
An affidavit by Detective Sergeant Eliot Mucharuona said one Dr Chitungo conducted an X-ray at a private health institution which confirmed traces of foreign bodies indicating that the police were advised to monitor the accused persons’ stool in order to recover the diamonds.
‘’From the 6th and 7th of this month, nothing came out of the accused’s stool. However, on March 8, 2017, I took the accused to court to apply for a warrant of further detention and this was granted by magistrate Innocent Bepura and this was effected on the following day,” said Mucharuona in the affidavit.
“In pursuing my investigations, I was instructed by Detective Chief Inspector Braundi, who is currently the acting provincial co-ordinator for the minerals and border control unit, Manicaland, to take the accused for another scan so as to monitor the movement of foreign bodies previously noted at the X-rays.”
He added: “This was done on March 8, 2017. The results of the scan show the availability of foreign bodies in the abdomen of the accused persons. However, from the day the further detention was authorised, the accused persons never excreted, hence there is need to continue with our investigations.”