Police in Chiwundura, Midlands province, are investigating a case in which a group of beer drinkers mobbed and held hostage three police officers while demanding the immediate release of a colleague arrested for violating lockdown rules on Valentine’s Day.
Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko, said he was still to get details of the incident from Muchakata Police Base.
“I don’t have full details. I am still waiting for information from the relevant station,” said Insp Mahoko.
A police internal memo seen by The Herald indicates that the three police constables, only identified by their force numbers and surnames as 05907M Cst Moyo, 075080H, Cst Ntundu and 081812A Cst Chikoti, were only released after giving in to the violent mob’s demands.
“On 14 February 2021 at around 5pm, the three police constables were at Maguma Business Centre, Chiwundura enforcing lockdown regulations when they heard a radio on full blast inside Chikwama Bar, whose doors were closed,” reads part of the memo.
The report said when the three police officers went to investigate, a group of imbibers, including the bar owner, Fred Chikwama, took to their heels, leaving the bar unattended.
“The three police officers then gave chase and managed to apprehend one of the imbibers, Last Siziba (37), and handcuffed him. Upon realising that their drinking colleague had been arrested, the mob confronted the police officers and demanded the immediate release of Siziba,” said the report.
According to the report, Cst Chikoti who was armed with an FN rifle, loaded the gun and fired a shot in the air in to disperse the mob, but they continued to advance and rounded up the three policemen.
“Sensing danger, the three then complied with the mob’s demands and removed handcuffs from Siziba and retreated back to their police base at Muchakata,” reads the memo.
The bar owner, Mr Chikwama yesterday confirmed the developments, but said the mob was not part of his patrons.