ZIMBABWE – Three Marondera police officers and two neighbourhood watch committee members allegedly strangled a commuter omnibus driver while trying to arrest him at a roadblock in 2014.
The five appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya facing culpable homicide charges.
They are Richard Buzuzu (28), Liberty Magodo (29), Tinevimbo Muzezewa (29), Tafadzwa Turipa (25) and Rambo Bhunu (38).
Buzuzu, Magodo and Muzezewa are stationed at Chivhu, Furtherstone and Beatrice, respectively.
Turipa and Bhunu are members of the neighbourhood watch committee.
In their defence, the five said the deceased, Mugove Manonge refused to avail his driver’s licence and documentation.
“He became argumentative, aggressive, violent and threatening. He violently refused to be arrested,” they said.
“In effecting arrest none of the accused restricted his airflow and impaired his ability to breath or respire.”
Prosecutor Mr Zinyandu alleged that on November 1, 2014 Buzuzu, Magodo and Muzezewa were manning a road block at the 20km peg along the Marondera-Murehwa Road in Marondera.
It is alleged that Turipa and Bhunu were sitting at nearby Bemba bus stop waiting for a relative who was coming from Marondera.
At around 4pm the now deceased, Manonge approached the road block driving a commuter omnibus registration number ACL 3362. He was carrying 14 passengers.
It is alleged that Buzuzu signalled Manonge to pull off the road.
Buzuzu inspected the vehicle and advised Manonge to pay a fine of $10 for driving without a licence.
An altercation ensued after Manonge told the police he had no money to pay the fine.
It is alleged that the three police officers were overpowered by Manonge who was resisting arrest. Turipa and Bhunu intervened.
Buzuzu grabbed Manonge’s throat tightly while others grabbed his legs, waist and hands. He was eventually handcuffed.
Manonge fell down twice and eventually became unconscious.
He was rushed to Marondera Provincial Hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
A postmortem concluded that Manonge died of strangulation.