SEVEN police officers from Bulawayo have been arrested for allegedly storming a Njube man’s bedroom before assaulting him as he lay nak_ed on the floor while threatening to shoot him for failing to pay a $1 500 fine.
The police officers stationed at the Njube and Bulawayo Central police stations identified as Samuel Marava, Leonard Mlezane, Kudakwashe Saungweme, Abious Munatsi, Edgar Muduva, Vincent Dube and Colen Zumo allegedly assaulted Mr Edmond Makonese (56) for failing to pay the fine at the Tredgold Magistrates Court.
Zumo died last month reportedly due to stress from the case.
The cops pleaded not guilty to assault charges before West Commonage magistrate Mr Stephen Ndlovu yesterday.
The magistrate remanded them out of custody on free bail to December 31 for continuation of trial.
It is alleged that Mr Makonese defaulted paying a fine after he was found operating as an agent in the city centre without a licence.
The courts had fined him $1 500.
The police officers allegedly went to look for Mr Makonese at his home in connection with a warrant of arrest that was issued against him for failing to pay the fine.
The court heard that the officers saw the complainant’s son, Tatenda, who was outside the house and allegedly assaulted him demanding to know where his father was hiding.
They allegedly stormed into the complainant’s bedroom and assaulted him while threatening him with a firearm.
Prosecuting, Mr Tony Kamudyariwa said on March 6 this year at around 7:30AM, police officers stormed into Mr Makonese’s bedroom armed with a pistol and batons.
He said they found him changing clothes and ordered him to lie down nak_ed.
“The police officers assaulted the complainant by hitting him with hands, booted feet and baton sticks several times intending to cause bodily harm,” he said.
Mr Kamudyariwa said one of the police officers threatened to shoot Mr Makonese who was now screaming in pain as he was being assaulted.
He said Mr Makonese sustained chest injuries, swollen eyes and a deep cut on his forehead and was admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.
Makonese’s neighbour, Mr Samuel Phiri testified that he saw Makonese walking barefooted with blood gushing from his head.
“I was so worried when I saw my neighbour half nak_ed, in the company of many police officers who were busy assaulting him on his way to the police station. His head was covered with of blood,” said Mr Phiri.
The matter was reported to police leading to the officers’ arrest.