By Tendai Rupapa
Six police officers who allegedly assaulted a city businessman who owns commuter omnibuses after he filmed them beating up one of his drivers, were yesterday strongly warned by the court not to interfere with witnesses or risk being locked up.
The kombi owner, Mr Gift Muusha, sustained various injuries all over the body and was hospitalised. As part of their bail conditions, the six were ordered not to interfere with witnesses, but they went to the complainant’s house pleading for mercy.
Munyaradzi Bvukumbwe (23), Vivian Kapaso (25), Herbert Tsiga (25), Erlswort Gazimbi (27), Nkululekani Daze (27) and Prize Mpofu (27) — all from the force’s traffic section, even sent Kapaso to call Mr Muusha pleading with him to drop the charges.
The six appeared before Ms Barbara Chimboza yesterday for their routine remand and Mr Muusha then made the complaints against them. In her ruling, Ms Chimboza found the six guilty of breaching the bail conditions, adding that it was clear that they wanted to intimidate the complainant.
She then warned them against such behaviour, saying if they continued doing that, the court would revoke bail and remand them in custody. Their trial has been set for June 7.
Mr Muusha said: “Your Worship, Kapaso called me pretending to be a friend to the accused persons not knowing it was actually him. He pleaded for mercy on their behalf asking me to forgive them.
“He asked for my residential address and later came to my house where he continued with his appeals, that is when we identified him with my wife as one of the culprits.
“He later came back in the evening in the company of all the accused persons. They all pleaded with me to forgive them.”
During cross-examination, the gang’s lawyer Mr Stephen Chikotora, accused Muusha of fabricating a story against his clients.
He dismissed Muusha’s claims, saying that he did not have evidence to substantiate his claims. The prosecutor Miss Audrey Chogumaira alleged that the six police officers arrested the kombi driver and took him to VID Eastlea.
The court heard that Mr Muusha followed and saw the officers assaulting his driver and he started to record everything with his phone. It is the State’s case that Bvukumbwe then hit Mr Muusha’s phone with a baton, forcing it to fall to the ground.
While he was trying to retrieve his phone, the police officers allegedly turned on him and assaulted him with batons all over his body. They also clapped, punched and kicked him, the court heard.