Harare – Zimbabwean activists opposed to President Robert Mugabe's rule have claimed that they were tortured and detained at the ruling Zanu-PF party headquarters before being handed over to the police.
According to New Zimbabwe, the activists said this while narrating "horrendous testimonies" of torture at the hands of the police during recent demonstrations against Mugabe and his government.
Amongst those arrested were the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) legislators Fani Munengami and Ronia Bunjira.
The torture victims also claimed that police details openly indulged in alcohol and drug binges before they turned to savagely assault them.
Munengami said that they were abused and assaulted as they moved from one police station to another and watched in horror as police officers "took drugs", a NewsDay report said.
"Not only were they given free food, they were also on drugs. They were also drinking beer when they were beating us up.
War against citizens
"I think this is actually something that made them act that way. I was also surprised to see police officers being allowed to drink on duty and the reason might be for them to gather courage to beat up people," Munengami was quoted as saying.
The MDC led by Morgan Tsvangirai recently claimed that Mugabe's government was deploying Zanu-PF youths to "masquerade" as police officers across the country in a bid to stop demonstrations.
MDC spokesperson Obert Gutu said at the time that Mugabe's government had declared war against its own citizens.
Meanwhile, Police Commissioner General Augustine Chihuri reportedly warned opposition parties to stop pushing for Mugabe's ouster before the end of his term.
He also accused the parties of engaging in acts of violence, as he defended the police heavy handedness in crushing demonstrations.
"Indeed, policing experiences the world over, even in mature democracies, is that no social deviants, the criminally-minded would ever thank the police for thwarting their criminal intents. If this was to happen, it would be analogous to a rat thanking the cat for patrolling its home," Chihuri was quoted as saying.