Two police officers were allegedly kidnapped on Tuesday night by a motorist they had stopped at a check point in Harare city centre set up to enforce the 6pm to 6am curfew.
The motorist, 31-year-old Tinotenda Zinyemba, was driving a white Isuzu KB truck when he was stopped by the officers near the intersection of Samora Machel Avenue and Chinhoyi Street. He was asked why he was driving during the curfew, which is allowed under certain circumstances.
But Zinyemba allegedly showed signs of resistance, prompting two of the police officers to jump onto his vehicle and ordered him to drive to Harare Central Police station.
Once the police officers were in the cab, Zinyemba drove off at high speed eventually getting to Mazowe Street and was driving north towards Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.
Other officers manning the road block tried to give chase on foot to rescue their colleagues and arrest the motorist, but after a brief chase while Zinyemba was cutting around corners to get into Mazowe Street, had to give up chase once he had a clear run.
But, as fate would have it, Zinyemba drove into a second security check point at the corner of Josiah Tongogara Avenue and Mazowe Street. And this time he was blocked, arrested and taken to Harare Central Police Station.
National police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, yesterday reiterated that it was a chargeable offence to fail to comply with officers when carrying out their duties.
“Members of the public are urged to cooperate with police officers and security services members who are conducting Covid-19 duties. The ZRP would like to strongly warn all motorists and the general public that all those who undermine the authority of the police will face the full wrath of the law.”
Cases where officers on duty are being kidnapped have been on the rise in the last few years and officers have been assaulted by motorists in a bid to evade arrest.
It is an offence under the Road Traffic Act to disobey directions and instructions, whether verbal or by signs, given by a police officer in uniform.
In 2013, six policemen on duty in Harare were kidnapped and attacked by a commuter omnibus crew and police have also recorded cases of attempted murder and one culpable homicide perpetrated on officers by kombi drivers and conductors.