By Leonard Ncube
A Hwange police impersonator, who had been allegedly terrorising residents and raping some of them, has been arrested.
Joas Tshuma (29) of Gamba Village in Hwange was arrested on Saturday after a month-long investigation and surveillance by police intelligence unit, working with members of the public.
He is expected to appear in court for impersonation and two counts of rape.
Chronicle understands Tshuma could also be linked to six other rape cases.
He allegedly pounced on women claiming to be a policeman and telling them they were under arrest.
Tshuma would then order them to accompany him to the police station and along the way allegedly rape them.
Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed Tshuma’s arrest.
“Police arrested a man who raped a woman after impersonating a police officer on 25 May in Hwange,” said Insp Banda.
He said Tshuma was wearing a navy-blue anti-riot pair of trousers, police boots, a red T-shirt and black leather jacket when he allegedly raped a 19-year-old woman on Africa Day.
Tshuma allegedly introduced himself to the complainant as Constable Rupiswa before telling her that she was under arrest for not wearing a mask.
He allegedly told the victim that he was taking her to the police station to pay a fine.
The woman complied and they used a small path that passes through Hwange Colliery Golf Course.
Insp Banda said along the way Tshuma allegedly proposed love to the woman and she turned him down.
As they were passing by the golf clubhouse, Tshuma allegedly ordered the complainant to sit on a rock and he sat behind her.
He allegedly started fondling her breasts before raping her twice.
After committing the crime, Tshuma allegedly accompanied the woman back to her place of residence and threatened to arrest her if she told anyone about what had happened.
The woman narrated her ordeal to her boyfriend who accompanied her to make a report to the police.
Tshuma was arrested on Saturday following investigations.
Insp Banda commended members of the public for assisting police in the arrest of Tshuma.
“Investigations are still ongoing and as police we want to thank members of the public for their co-operation through tip-offs. However, members of the public must be careful and not be swayed by anybody who looks suspicious. Where necessary people should ask to see police identification card, and especially women and children, have the right to refuse to use small paths or any route that goes through secluded places,” he said. The Chronicle