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Zimbabwe: Kombi Owner, Driver Assaulted Over $50 Bribe

A Harare commuter omnibus operator was hospitalised at a city health centre on Saturday night after he was allegedly assaulted by Zimbabwe Republic Police traffic officers in a dispute over a $50 bribe.

The driver of the kombi was also assaulted for alerting his boss that the cops wanted a bribe for a vehicle that was certified fit by the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID).

The case was reported at Harare Central Police Station under number IR030800, but no arrests had been confirmed by late yesterday.

It is reported that on Saturday at around 7pm, the kombi owner, Gift Muusha, was informed by one of his drivers that he had been arrested and police officers wanted $50 to release the vehicle.

Muusha advised his driver, who was reportedly accused of picking up passengers at an undesignated point and using an unroadworthy vehicle, to refuse to pay the bribe. He instructed the driver to tell the policemen to wait for him since he was not far from the scene of the incident.

When he arrived, the police officers claimed they had already impounded the kombi and were driving towards Harare Central Police.

Muusha claimed the kombi was taken to the VID depot in Eastlea during the night of the incident.

Upon arrival at VID depot, Muusha claimed he heard his driver screaming as the cops beat him using batons.

When he intervened seeking to understand why the police wanted $50, Muusha claimed he was also assaulted in the face, head and all over the body resulting in him being hospitalised at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals.

It is alleged the officers further assaulted him at the police station after receiving an instruction from an unnamed superintendent. He was later released without a charge, reported the case and went to hospital where he was detained over night.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba referred all questions to the Harare Central Police station yesterday.

National Police Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, who earlier promised to give a comment, could not be reached by the time of going to print yesterday.

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