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Five cops who allegedly gouged out Harare man’s eye apply to be discharged

By Tarisai Machakaire

Five cops who allegedly gouged out a Harare man Washington Gezana’s eye have applied to be discharged at the close of the State case, arguing the victim had failed to identify them as perpetrators of the offence.

Police in Zimbabwe are well known for using excessive force
File picture of Police in Zimbabwe

Livingstone Zvimba, Tendai Masungambira, Sunday Nyaude, Khululekani Dale, Evans Mashonganyika — members of the Police Reaction Group (PRG) are answering to assault charges before Harare magistrate Farai Gwitima.

The group argued that they could not be convicted based on evidence adduced in court because no nexus had been established between them and the assault charges.

“The area of occurrence was dark and visibility resultantly poor as confirmed by all witnesses. The assailants were wearing helmets that covered their faces and so could not be positively identified at the scene,” read the application.

“There were 15 PRG details who came in two groups but were all under inspector White (Margii, the officer-in-charge of Craneborne Police Station) and they all left at once. No identification parade was held at least to determine the person in terms of height and accent.

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“None of the witnesses actually witnessed the assault, including the complainants.

“Twelve PRG details had been arrested, including those who turned out to be witnesses and, in fact, the investigating officer had actually concluded that it was unsafe to prosecute as no one had witnessed the assault.”

Prosecutor Dora Moyo alleges that on March 23, Gezana lapsed into unconsciousness after his eye was detached from its socket following vicious battering by police who were using batons.

Zvimba and his accomplices reportedly sped off in a Defender van after the incident.

The officers denied the charges in court, claiming they were not at the scene as alleged.

Zvimba and his accomplices are currently out on $50 bail granted during their initial court appearance.

The complainants are Yvone Magora and Gezana, a couple from in Hatfield in Harare.

Margii has testified 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 into his truck and they left town together. Daily News