TWO Gwanda-based police officers allegedly ganged up and fatally assaulted a drunk prison officer for refusing to be taken to a police holding cell for detention.
Tinofara Moyo (38) and Admire Matsveru (34) both stationed at Gwanda Police Station appeared before Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Francis Bere last week facing murder charges in connection with the death of Johannes Moyo (33), a prison officer who was also stationed in Gwanda.
The trial of the cops, however, failed to kick off after one of the key witnesses, Constable Lovemore failed to turn up because the State had not summoned him.
Justice Bere struck off the matter from the roll and postponed it to a later date.
According to State papers on January 9 in 2010 at about 10PM, Johannes was picked up by police after he was found lying on the side of the road with his bicycle.
He was taken to Gwanda Police Station where he was supposed to be detained overnight for his own safety.
The court heard that the deceased was drunk to an extent that he struggled to either talk or walk and police had to assist him.
After Johannes was booked for overnight detention, he was handed over to the accused persons who escorted him to the holding cells.
While being taken to the holding cells, the deceased protested and wrestled with Tinofara and Matsveru as they escorted him.
The court heard that the two police officers started assaulting Johannes before they tripped him. The two accused persons went on to trample upon Johannes as he lay helplessly on the floor.
The following morning Johannes started complaining of pain and he was rushed to Gwanda Provincial Hospital where he died on admission due to injuries sustained during the assault.
A report was made to the police leading to the arrest of the two cops.
According to a post mortem report, the cause of death was due to multiple ribs fracture, perforated right lung and hypovolemic shock.
The death of the prison officer comes a week after Two people were shot dead by ZRP cops who were conducting an anti-kombi operation in the Harare CBD. The deceased are believed to be vendors and several people were seriously injured from police shootings.
It is further alleged that the mob has been angered by the police's actions and storm Harare Central police station where they reportedly stoned officers and burnt cars.