CBD shut down stalls police brutality court case

Lawyers representing six police officers who allegedly brutally assaulted two women from Bulawayo’s Cowdray Park suburb during the lockdown period claimed they could not get to court to due to a sudden restriction of movement in the city on Tuesday.

The six are Simbarashe Bvekwa, Tichaona Zariro, Patson Gumoreyi, Elizabeth Denhere, Zibusiso Masuku and Christabel Munyondo.

The case, which has stalled for over a month owing to various circumstances, has been set to start on June 24.

Most residents in Bulawayo were this morning sent back home at roadblocks as state security agents allegedly denied them entry into the CBD, allowing only the uniformed forces, health practitioners and essential service providers.

The accused persons lawyer, Nkosiyabo Sibanda, from Tanaka Law Chambers, said they could not get to court due to today’s operation.

The two women, Nokuthula and Ntombizodwa Mpofu, who are sisters, claim they were handcuffed, assaulted, labelled ‘prostitutes’ and tribally insulted by police officers based at the Cowdray Park police base after they had gone to the shops to buy some foodstuffs on April 16.

The case has for the past month failed to proceed with the women’s lawyer Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys raising concerns that investigations had not been thoroughly done.

Sithole has since noted satisfaction as far as investigations are concerned and said the matter is now ready to be heard in court.

Initially, Sithole had cited that there were some administrative issues that needed to be complied with before the accused persons are brought to court.

He said these included interrogating identification parade other officers who participated by omission in the commission of the offense.

Sithole also said there was a vehicle which had been used as a getaway car at some stage and it had not been investigated to identify the driver.

Source: Centre for Innovation and Technology (CITE)