By Sharon Buwerimwe
Seven police officers from Bulawayo have been arrested for storming into a resident of Njube suburb’s bedroom and assaulting him while threatening to shoot him as he lay naked for failing to pay a $1 500 fine at the Tredgold Magistrates courts.
Njube and Bulawayo Central police station officers identified as Samuel Marava, Leonard Mlezane, Kudakwashe Saungweme, Abious Munatsi, Edgar Muduva, Vincent Dube and Collen Zumo allegedly assaulted Mr Edmond Makonese (56) while threatening him with a gun.
The officers pleaded not guilty to assault charges before West Commonage magistrate Mr Stephen Ndlovu yesterday.
The magistrate remanded them out of custody to today 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.
It was not stated exactly what Mr Makonese was found operating without being registered but he was arrested and taken to court where a magistrate fined him $1 500.
He did not pay the money.
The seven police officers allegedly went to look for him at his home in connection with a warrant of arrest that was issued against him at Tredgold Courts for failing to pay the fine.
The court heard that the officers saw the complainant’s son, Tatenda, who was outside the house and assaulted him while asking him where his father was hiding.
They then stormed into the complainant’s bedroom and assaulted him while threatening him with a firearm.
Prosecuting, Ms Patience Sibanda said on March 6 this year at around 7:30AM, police officers stormed into Mr Makonese’s bedroom armed with a pistol and batons. They found him changing clothes and ordered him to lie down naked.
“The police officers assaulted the complainant by hitting him with hands, booted feet and baton sticks several times intending to cause bodily harm,” she said.
Ms Sibanda said one of the police officers threatened to shoot Mr Makonese who was now screaming in pain as he was being assaulted.
She said Mr Makonese sustained chest injuries, swollen eyes and a deep cut on his forehead and was admitted to Mpilo Central Hospital.The matter was reported to police leading to the officers’ arrest. The Chronicle