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‘Butcher’ cops shamed

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FOUR traffic cops, who had alleged that they were assaulted by two long-distance truck drivers resisting arrest in a roadblock scuffle in January this year, were left with egg on their faces after a Gwanda magistrate acquitted the drivers last week.

OWN CORRESPONDENT

Lloyd Musonza (38) and his cousin Maximum Musonza (21) had denied assaulting the cops and stealing their caps when they initially appeared before Gwanda magistrate Sheila Nazombe in February.

A picture of Lloyd Musonza taken with a mobile divice shortly after the attack by police
A picture of Lloyd Musonza taken with a mobile divice shortly after the assault by police

Nazombe acquitted the two drivers last week saying the State had failed to prove its case against the cousins.

The State had alleged that on January 31, traffic cops Thomas Nemashakwe, Show Magaisa, Edmore Dzimba and Thembiwe Makore mounted a speed trap in West Nicholson when they caught Maximum speeding.

They issued him with a spot fine.

It is alleged that his cousin Lloyd disembarked from the haulage truck and urinated nearby. Nemashakwe told Lloyd that he was under arrest for urinating in public and asked him to pay a spot fine.

However, Lloyd refused saying they were in a bushy area that could not be deemed to be a public place.

Nemashakwe alleged that Lloyd resisted arrest and an argument ensued before he was hit by the accused on the left cheek.

Nemashakwe alleged Maximum joined in the scuffle and he and the other three traffic officers fled into the bush.

The cops said people on board two commuter omnibuses rescued them from the two by pelting the cousins with stones.

In their defence through lawyer Byron Sengweni of Mcijo, Dube and Partners, the cousins indicated that it was the cops who brutally assaulted them and had brought up the charges as a cover-up for their offence.

During the trial, Sengweni accused the police of being liars and produced pictures and videos as evidence to the effect that the cops “butchered” his clients.

He said Lloyd was severely assaulted by the police on the head using handcuffs and bled profusely when the cops tried to retrieve his cellphone which he had used to take a video of the assault.

He said the injuries were severe that he had to be admitted at Gwanda Provincial Hospital.

In the video, police are seen ordering Lloyd to surrender his cellphone telling him he had no right to take pictures of them.

Pictures of Lloyd bleeding profusely after the police attack were also produced in court as evidence by the defence.

On the other hand, Nemashakwe struggled to show the court the scars from the alleged wounds he claimed to have suffered at the hands of the two cousins.

The Musonza cousins took two police caps, a deployment register and a fine deposit schedule and drove off before they were arrested by the same traffic cops at a roadblock at Makhado after overtaking them on the highway.

Sengweni argued that his clients had taken police property so that it could be used to identify them as they intended to make a report at Beitbridge Police Station.

The cousins said they could not report the matter at the West Nicholson police as they suspected the cops were from that station.

Lloyd reported the matter to Gwanda police on February 3, but the investigating officer alleged dragged his feet.

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