Spikes cop suffers backlash

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A DISGRUNTLED commuter omnibus operator whose vehicle tyres were damaged by police spikes in Bulawayo over his refusal to allegedly pay a $2 bribe, has threatened to take the matter to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

SILAS NKALA
STAFF REPORTER

Court papers show that Assistant Inspector Uyengedzerayi Masuku of Traffic West Police Station in Mpopoma, allegedly used spikes on Costan Sayi’s kombi sometime in August last year.

The kombi was then impounded and taken to the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID).

However, Sayi later sued Masuku accusing her of spiking and damaging his kombi tyre following his refusal to pay a $2 bribe.

In his letter of demand to Masuku at the Small Claims Court on September 13 2013, Sayi applied for a court order compelling the cop to compensate him for the damage to his kombi tyre.

“I hereby demand for a court order to reclaim my damaged tyre which was worth $160 when new and to order for the accused to be accountable for all accumulated costs due to this unjust act,” wrote Sayi.

He further accused the police of refusing to accept his report of the damage to his vehicle when he went to make a report at the police station on August 2, 2013.

In summons of October 10 2013, Sayi indicated that he had failed to report the case to the police on August 29 due to cops abusing their authority by refusing to entertain his report.

He alleged that the police ordered the removal of the damaged vehicle from the scene of the spiking to the VID in a move aimed at destroying evidence.

“I seek the court order to redeem my chance to serve the nation as one of the commuter operators and to claim the tyre of my vehicle unlawfully damaged by the police officer in order to compel me to bribe.

“The dispute between me and Masuku was when the police officer indirectly introduced a $2 bribe,” Sayi said.

He claimed that he was asked to pay the bribe despite his vehicle having all the required documents and when he refused, his kombi was spiked.

According to court documents, Masuku was supposed to appear in court on October 29 2013, but she defaulted resulting in the court making a default judgment ordering her to pay Sayi $174.

The court authorised the Messenger of Court to attach Masuku’s property worth that amount and that she be accountable for all accumulated costs due to her unjust act.

Court papers show that when the Messenger of Court and Sayi went to the Traffic West Police Station on February 27, Masuku refused to disclose her residential address in the presence of the officer-in-charge.

Masuku also allegedly refused to accept the court papers saying was her superiors who should sign. They also allegedly refused to sign the papers.

Following the default judgment, Masuku applied for rescission of the default judgment saying she was not properly served with the summons and did not default well aware that there was a court case.

“Defendant’s conduct was above board since at all material times was furthering the interests of her employer. The application by plaintiff is incurably defective for the following reasons; plaintiff fraudulently misrepresented facts to the court by making wrong arguments that defendant was properly served for court, defendant was not given opportunity to be heard,” Masuku submitted.

Masuku also argued that the Zimbabwe Republic Police — as her employer — could have been cited as a party, and plaintiff was supposed to give due notice in terms of Section 70 of the Police Act Chapter 10:11 and Sections 6 (1) (b) (iii) of the State Liabilities Act Chapter 8:14.

On March 25 2014, Bulawayo magistrate Victor Mpofu granted rescission of the default judgment application by Makusu while Sayi was not in court.

“Rescission is hereby granted in default of the respondent (Sayi). Warrant of execution is hereby stayed in default of the Respondent,” Mpofu ruled.

But Sayi said he was not notified of the court date despite several inquiries.