By Tarisai Machakaire
A Harare Magistrate was yesterday told how a Hatfield man and his wife were subjected to vicious assaults by members of the riot police who were controlling traffic at a busy intersection until the husband lapsed in a horrific incident which led him to lose one eye.
Washington Gezana of St Patrick’s in Hatfield lapsed into unconscious after his eye was gouged from its socket following the blows from police batons.
The police officers are alleged to have sped off in a Land Rover Defender vehicle after “realising” that Gezana had lost his eye.
Magistrate Farai Gwitima yesterday charged five members of the Police Reaction Group (PRG) with two counts of assault.
The five — Livingstone Zvimba, Tendai Masungambira, Sunday Nyaude, Khululekani Dale and, Evans Mashonganyika — are already on $50 bail granted during their initial court appearance.
The officers denied the charges in court, claiming they were not at the scene as alleged.
The complainants are Gezana and his wife, Yvone Magora.
White Margii, the officer-in-charge of Craneborne Police Station testified yesterday and said he deployed eight officers to assist with traffic congestion in town.
He said he visited the spot.
Margii told the court that Zvimba’s team jumped onto his truck and they left town together.
Prosecutor Dora Moyo had alleged that on March 23, Magora and Gezana were at the intersection of Kenneth Kaunda and Julius Nyerere in the city when they were approached by Zvimba and his accomplices.
The court heard that the police team approached Magora and asked why she was standing at the junction where they were controlling traffic before assaulting her once with a baton.
It was alleged that more police officers joined in and continued assaulting the woman, prompting her husband to intervene.
Gezana, it is alleged, asked the cops why they were assaulting his wife and they all turned on him and started viciously assaulting him.
It was further alleged that one of the cops used an unknown object and struck Gezani on the right eye before he fell unconscious.
At that moment, his wife had fled from the scene fearing continuous attacks and rushed to make a police report.
When Zvimba and his team allegedly realised that they had injured Gezana, they fled from the scene, leaving him lying helpless on the tarmac in a pool of blood.
Gezana was later rushed to Parirenyatwa Hospital where his eye was surgically removed.
His wife was later medically examined and affidavits that were compiled will be produced in court.
The trial continues on August 25 and Gezana is expected to testify. Daily News