Fungai Lupande Mashonaland Central Bureau
Four police officers, including a woman attached to the crime prevention unit, who allegedly assaulted and robbed a motorist of US$70 a few metres from a roadblock, have appeared before Bindura Magistrate’s Court along with a civilian accomplice who pretended to be a police inspector.
The five also allegedly assaulted other police officers while they were resisting arrest.
The officers are Manager William (30), Brian Mzilikazi (33), Natasha Mupingo (32) and Tafuma Ruvuke (32) while their accomplice is Bigboy Mjenda (32). The five waylaid, assaulted and robbed at least one motorist along Mazowe-Centenary Road.
The four police officers are from Harare, while Mjenda is from Ruwa.
They appeared before Bindura provincial magistrate Mr Tinashe Ndokera facing robbery and assault charges and were remanded on bail to November 17 for trial.
Prosecutor Ms Sheilla Maribha said on September 16 at around 3pm, the five were travelling toward Mazowe along the Mazowe-Centenary Road in an unregistered Chevrolet Captiva when they stopped at a roadblock just before Mazowe.
Mjenda, who was driving, produced a fake police identity card and introduced himself as Inspector Mjenda from police general headquarters internal investigations.
He told Sergeant Major Shadreck Bako, who was in charge of the roadblock, that the team was conducting spot checks.
While Mjenda was talking to Sgt Major Bako, a Nissan Caravan that was being driven Mr Bothwell Murasikwa (26) passed through the roadblock.
The five allegedly chased the vehicle, blocked it from proceeding, then disembarked and switched off Mr Murasikwa’s engine.
They started punching him in the face and handcuffed him.
They then bundled him into their vehicle and started assaulting him while demanding US$70.
Mr Murasikwa allegedly gave the money to Mjenda.
The five drove to the roadblock, ordered the complainant to disembark and drove off towards Mazowe.
Sgt Major Bako immediately alerted Mazowe Traffic who arrested the five and impounded their vehicle.
They were searched and found in possession of US$152.
The court heard that Mjenda offered police officers a US$60 bribe and the money was recovered as an exhibit.
The five were allegedly visibly drunk and were taken to Mazowe police station where at around 4pm they started insulting police officers.
They violently resisted arrest and assaulted two officers, Thandolwenkosi Dube and Taurayi Kadzingwindi.