Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A rogue vendor who operates at Harvest House, the MDC-T headquarters in Harare’s central business district, who allegedly attacked and killed a policeman during an illegal and violent demonstration recently, was back in court accused of assaulting another cop.
Barnabas Mwanaka (35) of 10181 Glen View 7, is facing an additional charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice after he barred the cop, Constable Leonard Mugura, from arresting a commuter omnibus driver who had been caught breaking the law.
Mwanaka, who is already in remand on a murder charge, on Thursday appeared before Ms Victoria Mashamba. He was further remanded in custody to July 24 for trial. On June 29, Mwanaka and his accomplices allegedly stoned Talkmore Phiri (rank not given), and his workmate, Constable Concillia Gumbo, causing them to fall from a police vehicle.
It is alleged that the gang caught up with Phiri and further stoned him, before kicking and punching him leading to his death. On the fresh charges, prosecutor Mrs Idah Maromo-Mateke alleged that on July 8 at around 1pm, Constables Mugura, Chidawa, Ndlovu and Matingo were on duty in the CBD when they saw a kombi driver picking up and dropping passengers at an undesignated place.
Cnst Mugura, who was brandishing a spike, walked towards the kombi intending to arrest the driver. It is alleged he told the driver not to move his vehicle as he was now under arrest.
It is the State’s case that Mwanaka, who was standing close by and monitoring Cnst Mugura’s movements, charged towards him and clapped him on the face.
As he was assaulting him, Mwanaka is alleged to have said: “Mupurisa weZanu unofira mahara because wanga wandikuvadzisa nespike rako.”
Mwanaka, the court heard, further manhandled Cnst Mugura while grabbing him by the collar as he tried to pin him down.
Cnst Mugura’s colleagues rushed to his rescue, while the kombi driver took advantage of the scuffle to make good his escape.
Cnst Mugura ad to seek medical attention for his injuries..