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Rape, Assault cop appeals against dismissal

by Staff reporter
22 May 2020 at 06:27hrs | Views
A POLICE officer stationed at Mzilikazi Police Station in Bulawayo who was accused of raping two women on separate occasions after assaulting and threatening to kill them, has approached the High Court challenging his boss' decision to dismiss his appeal against conviction.

Chrispen Tshuma from Njube suburb was accused of having throttled his victims aged 22 and 24 years before forcing himself on them. He was alleged to have approached the women on separate occasions and threatened to arrest them before ordering them to accompany him to the police station and thereafter raped the.

Tshuma was alleged to have raped one of the women at knife point.

He was however, acquitted by the criminal court due to lack of evidence, but he was convicted by his bosses following an internal hearing for acting in an unbecoming manner prejudicial to good discipline or conduct reasonably likely to discredit the police force. He was sentenced to 10 days in detention at Fairbridge Barracks.

Aggrieved by both conviction and sentence, Tshuma appealed to Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga who dismissed his application.Tshuma, through his lawyers Mathonsi Ncube Law Chambers, has now filed an application for review at the Bulawayo High Court citing Comm-Gen Matanga and the State as respondents. In his founding affidavit, Tshuma said Comm-Gen Matanga's decision to dismiss his appeal was baseless.

"The first respondent (Comm-Gen Matanga) dismissed my appeal without even considering the basis of the law on which my appeal was based and gave no authority for the decision he made. I am therefore seeking a review of the decision of the court a quo as the first respondent's decision to dismiss my appeal is irregular and prejudicial to me," he said.

Tshuma said the conviction will wrongly dent his record and he is likely to lose his job. "I might lose my job because the logical sequence after losing the appeal is to convene a board to determine my suitability in employment.

The board will undoubtedly consider the conviction against me," he said. Tshuma wants the court to set aside Comm-Gen Matanga's decision to dismiss his appeal, arguing that the trial officer erred and grossly misdirected himself by failing to put into consideration the fact that he was cleared of rape charges by the regional court.

"The trial officer further erred and grossly misdirected himself in throwing away the defence of mistaken identity yet there was evidence that the complainant had pointed to at least one other suspect," he argued.

Tshuma said the trial officer erred by sentencing him to a custodial sentence of 10 days at Fairbridge Detention Barracks yet the Police Act provides for the option of a fine. According to the State, Tshuma targeted the women who had just parted with their boyfriends around Entumbane suburb.

He allegedly introduced himself as Sergeant Musvipe before threatening to arrest them before raping in March 2018. It was alleged that Tshuma threatened to arrest one of his victims for public indecency before raping her near Entumbane complex Police Base. It was stated that he took the complainant to Entumbane complex Police Base and asked her to wait outside. He then returned minutes later and demanded a $20 fine from the complainant for public indecency.

The State alleged that Tshuma dragged the complainant behind the Police Base precast wall where he throttled her before ordering her to undress. When she refused, he punched her in the face until she complied and thereafter, he forcibly had unprotected sexual intercourse with her.

Tshuma allegedly lied to his other victim that her boyfriend had stolen his phone so he wanted her to escort him to his place.He took the woman to a bush and raped her at knife point. The women reported the rape to the police leading to Tshuma's arrest.
Source - chronicle