A POLICE officer, Kudzanai Mugunyeyi, appeared at the Bulawayo Magistrates’ Court last Wednesday facing charges of assault and extortion after he allegedly attacked a fellow passenger.
Mugunyeyi allegedly assaulted Earnest Moyo at his Fort Rixon home accusing him of stealing his luggage from a bus they had boarded together from Bulawayo.
Mugunyeyi denied the allegations and magistrate Charity Maphosa adjourned the case to August 28 when she is expected to make a ruling.
Moyo told the court that he had mistakenly alighted from the bus with Mugunyeyi’s luggage due to the weight of things he was carrying.
“I went for a weekend visit to my family and brought loads of groceries. I realised when I got home that some of the luggage was not mine,” Moyo said.
He said the next morning at around 11am, his Grade 3 child informed him that a cop was looking for him outside.
Moyo said he went outside to meet him with the intention of immediately admitting his mistake and returning the groceries to the owner.
“As I approached the officer, he said to me ‘old man you are a thief’ and before I said a word to him, he handcuffed me. I did not resist because I knew that I had not done any wrong,” Moyo said.
“He went on to beat me up until my left eye bled. My wife and children were at this point weeping bitterly because he assaulted me in front of them.”
Mugunyeyi then demanded his luggage from Moyo’s wife Loyce Tshuma and inspected it before ordering them to go to the Fort Rixon Police Station as they were thieves.
“He told me to bring his luggage from the house (and) after inspecting it, he claimed that a pint of milk was missing and called me a thief and handcuffed me as well,” Tshuma said.
“My husband pleaded that he release me from the cuffs because I had children who were under medication. On the way to the police station, the officer said I must walk in front so that he speaks to my wife alone. I went a distance of about 10 metres.
“He asked how much I had from my wife and demanded that we give him the money. I was pained when I handed the money to the police officer because I had kept it to pay for my children’s school fees,” Moyo added.