Abuse of Sex Workers Rife; Police Officer Cut Off Sex worker’s Finger

A 29-year-old woman, Chimwemwe Chariwa, has raised claims that Kasungu Police officers abused her for allegedly selling stolen property on Wednesday last week.

According to Chariwa who plies her trade as a sex worker, one police officer asked her to help them apprehend a suspected criminal who has been eluding the police but heard that he often goes to the rest house where Chariwa and other sex workers put up.

“Fortunately, the suspected criminal was a person who came to the rest house to ask for our services and we used all the ways we could to make the criminal busy while informing the police that the suspect was there.

“However, during police interrogations, the suspect said that I was the one keeping the stolen items,” narrated Chariwa.

She added that the police came to her room to search for the stolen items and after not finding the said property, the police started beating her up.

Chariwa said she was taken to the police station suspecting that she had sold the stolen items.

“The police officers asked me to tell them where I hid the stolen items and I told them the truth that I am only a sex worker, not a thief and that l only helped to capture the suspect but do not even know where the stolen property is,” she said.

Chariwa said to her surprise the police officers beat her using the blunt side of a Panga Knife twice on her back and cut her right hand’s thumb which bled severely.

“After beating me the officers told me to mop my blood which oozed on the floor saying it was contaminated with HIV,” added Chariwa.

She said two hours passed without the police issuing a report so that she should access medical help, and instead of issuing two reports for her so that one should be used at the hospital as reference she was given one.

She said surprisingly on Thursday, some police officers went to her room and gave her K10, 000 which they said was for the hospital bills. By Friday, Chariwa had not been officially charged for any offence.

The issue however has caught the attention of Kasungu Civil Society Network (KUCSNET)’s Sikinai Mtenje who says they will follow the matter till justice prevails.

“The police didn’t do any justice to the woman who acted as the police’s informant, beating her with a panga Knife and injuring her without thorough investigation was not on. As KUCSNET we will follow the matter till the end,” Mtenje said.

When asked about the issue, Kasungu Police Public Relations Officer Edna Mzingwitsa expressed ignorance.

Chariwa hails from Chinkhombwe Village in the area of  Traditional Authority Mwase in Kasungu  district.-MANA