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Cops 'trying to avoid prosecution' for brutality

by Staff reporter
14 Jul 2020 at 08:44hrs | Views
THE State yesterday accused six Bulawayo police officers of employing delaying tactics to avoid prosecution on charges of brutally assaulting two Cowdray Park sisters under the veil of enforcing COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

This was after Simbarashe Bvekwa, Tichaona Zariro, Patson Gumoreyi, Elizabeth Denhere, Zibusiso Masuku and Christabel Munyondo notified magistrate Gladmore Mushove of their intention to file an application by July 15 to have their charges dropped.

The case, which attracted an uproar from residents and human rights activists, has suffered several false starts.

The six, who are represented by Maclean Mahaso and Nkosiyabo Sibanda of Tanaka Law Chambers, yesterday appeared before Mushove facing two counts of assault each.

They all pleaded not guilty to either of the charges. However, the State accused the defence counsel of employing delaying tactics to frustrate prosecution of the accused who are out on bail.

"This seems like a delaying tactic by the lawyers, considering the amount of time that they had after being served with the court papers. But for progress' sake the court will accept the request," prosecutor Kenneth Shava said.

Mushove remanded the matter to July 21 for a ruling on the application.

According to the State, Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu suffered multiple injuries after they were assaulted by the six cops, who accused them of loitering and violating COVID-19 lockdown regulations.

The incident took place on April 16.

The court was told that the accused went further, insulting the two sisters with obscenities and degrading them over their tribe.

The complainants were detained overnight after payment of $200 fine apiece. The case put into question the country's human rights record, particularly on the State security organs.

Source - newsday