BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
A POLICE officer stationed at St. Mary’s Police Station in Chitungwiza has landed himself in hot soup after he allegedly accused three suspects that were in police cells of intimidating him by wearing Zanu PF regalia.
Constable Chikomborero Chikutuma was on Monday arraigned before a police board of officers at Chitungwiza Police District headquarters in Makoni.
He stands accused of acting in a disorderly manner, which is prejudicial to good order and discipline in the police force, and is in contravention of paragraph 35 of the Schedule to the Police Act Chapter 11:10.
The cop is also accused of shouting at his senior, Sergeant Major Easther Tukuta, accusing her of refusing to retire.
Allegations were that on September 21 at around 0200 hours, Tukuta received a call from one Constable Bimha to the effect that there was a case involving Zanu PF supporters.
The four Zanu PF suspects were arrested. Two of the detained Zanu PF supporters are Chaminuka B district chairperson Phibeon Chizenya (47) and Onilia Viyazhero (43).
“Upon arrival at the charge office, Chikutuma who was drunk and was in civilian attire began to shout at the accused persons saying, ‘You come (here) wearing Zanu-PF regalia as an attempt to scare us. That’s not going to happen,’ Tukuta narrated during the hearing.
“I tried to calm him down but instead he started to shout at me saying, ‘you’re now old, go home so that we can get the opportunity to also lead.’ I then chased him out of the charge office and he came back after some few minutes and continued to shout at the accused persons,” she said.
Tukuta also alleged that she instructed one of the police officers to throw a bucket of water at Chitukuma, adding that his behaviour was unacceptable as it tarnished the image of the police.
One of the arrested Zanu PF supporters, Chizenya alleged that Chitukuma ordered him to remove his Zanu PF t-shirt saying that it had an old person’s face on it.
The cop also allegedly performed rough searches on Chizenya.
Chitukuma was represented by Job Sikhala. He denied all the charges saying he was threatened and intimidated, and told he would face serious consequences if he arrested Zanu PF supporters.
“The persons told the accused that they were powerful citizens from the ruling party who can cause him to lose his job in a second. They even threatened the accused person saying that they could phone His Excellency (President Emmerson Mnangagwa) and fire him from work instantly,” read the defence outline.
“The accused person will state that he was rather a victim of political bullying and the behaviour of these persons undermined the accused person to perform his duties.
“Sergeant Major Tukuta rather tortured the accused person by pouring a bucket of water on him. Although members of the force are subject to punishment, pouring water on an adult person is the most serious physical abuse a person can go through, and it is against the tenets of the right against inhuman and degrading treatment.”
The matter was adjourned to December 13 to allow Tukuta to prove that there is a law which allows police officers to torture their subordinates.