A GWERU policeman who was arrested on Sunday for allegedly shooting a soldier who was trying to stop him from assaulting a suspect has said his victim had tried to obstruct him from arresting the suspect.
Gift Gorongonya, a detective constable was not asked to plead when he appeared before Gweru Magistrate Mildred Matuvi facing an attempted murder charge.
He was remanded out of custody to February 26 on $50 bail.
Through his lawyer, Arshiel Mugiya of Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, Gorongonya said that he shot Corporal Zico Shumba while in the line of duty after he had tried to obstruct him from arresting a suspect. Mr Mugiya had applied for the court to place Gorongonya off remand arguing that the accused person had a constitutional mandate to enforce the law.
The lawyer said where there is resistance, a cop can use force.
“My lord, my client was in the line of duty when this incident occurred. He has the mandate to enforce the law and in this instance he was trying to arrest a suspect and the complainant was obstructing the course of justice. Furthermore, my client was brought to court unaware of the charges because the form 242 that has the brief circumstances which the court submitted was based on the allegations of an informant and now the State is submitting a new charge sheet based on the information obtained from the complainant. That is to say my client was thus unlawfully arrested and the warned and caution statement he gave to the police was in respect of the charges and circumstances on the initial charge sheet,” he said.
The State’s case is that on Saturday at around 5 PM, the cop who was in the company of his colleague Constable Chrispen Musiiwa, was assaulting a suspect along the Harare road when a Zimbabwe National Army bus stopped.
The complainant together with other soldiers disembarked and allegedly tried to stop the accused person from attacking the suspect.
The complainant allegedly disarmed Cst Musiiwa who was armed with a pistol and removed the magazine.
The court heard that Gorongonya then drew a pistol and fired some shots before hitting Corporal Shumba on the leg.
The two police officers then fled to Gweru Central Police Station.
Corporal Shumba was rushed to Gweru Provincial Hospital (GPH) where he is receiving treatment.
Ms Helen Khosa appeared for the State.