Harare – Police in Zimbabwe have been caught in a web of illegal surveillance, after planting intelligence operatives under the guise of genuine patients in hospitals across the capital Harare, to monitor visitors of victims of police brutality.

Over the last few months, several civilians have been physically assaulted by local police, resulting in varying degrees of injury, from minor to severe.

In an attempt to cover up the deeds, and protect the image of the police, intelligence operatives have been assigned to follow all victims of police brutality to hospitals, and gain admission in the same wards as the victims.

Journalist Malvern Mkudu had a suspicious run in with the ‘planted policemen’ earlier yesterday. Narrating his account of events, he had this to say

yesterday i visited a victim of police brutality in hospital. i got to him and found out how he was doing.

what happened next shocked me. his ward mates then asked me for my identity card.i told them that i don’t move around with identity cards.

they then explained that my interest in this “sensitive matter’ requires that i identify myself. i said there was nothing sensitive about visiting sick people.

i was then left with a question that were these ‘sick’ people or the state had planted spooks in this ward posing as patients to see who would visit this person.

my conclusion was that we are now in a gestapo state were the zrp is determined to hide its excesses and intimidate whoever is curious.it dawned on me that while we wait thinking the state will find its moral compass, it will escalate its repression

Zimbabwe’s spokesperson for the police, Charity Charamba, could not be reached for comment, as her mobile went unanswered. Whilst efforts to get a comment from Harare Central Police station were fruitless, with constables stationed there threatening to detain and beat our reporters.