Hospital conducts post-mortem examination after ZLHR’S intervention

By Court Reporter

AN independent pathologist on Friday 12 April 2019 conducted a
post-mortem examination on the body of Witness Mashereni, who died
last month under mysterious circumstances after his family’s lawyers
successfully petitioned the High Court to be granted access to conduct
the autopsy to ascertain the cause of death.

Witness’s father Christopher Mashereni, engaged the services of
Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, who through the family lawyer Fiona
Iliff filed an urgent chamber application in the High Court on Tuesday
9 April 2019 seeking an order allowing authorisation of an independent
pathologist to carry out the post-mortem examination on the body of
the deceased person.

Witness died some few hours after being released from Harare Remand
Prison, where he was detained after he was arrested on Thursday 14
February 2019 for alleged criminal trespass. For close to three weeks
after his death, no post-mortem examination had been conducted to
determine the cause of his death with Zimbabwean hospital authorities
stating that they have no pathologists available to carry out the

While Witness’s family engaged an independent pathologist to carry out
the post-mortem, authorities at Chitungwiza Central Hospital failed to
provide authorisation for the pathologist to carry out the post-mortem
at the state-run hospital or alternatively at Parirenyatwa Group of

In her court application, Iliff argued that the post-mortem
examination needs to be carried out urgently because Witness’s body
was decomposing such that the cause of death would be difficult to
determine and his family which was mourning for the loss of their
relative was eager to bury him.