Cop ‘sets police dogs on villagers’

Source: Cop ‘sets police dogs on villagers’ – Sunday News Sep 11, 2016

Munyaradzi Musiiwa, Midlands Correspondent
A BULAWAYO police officer who had a long standing dispute with his neighbours at his rural home in Gwanyika area under Chief Njelele in Gokwe South allegedly recently ran amok and set police dogs on villagers before firing teargas on them.

The incident occurred sometime last month when Constable Effete Mhike based at Bulawayo Central Police Station allegedly teamed up with three other police officers at Gokwe Police Station and took police dogs, rifles and teargas cansiters before descending on villagers in Gwanyika area.

According to villagers, Constable Mhike accused his cousins Calvin and Reason Tshuma of assaulting his younger brother Life for beating up his wife who is also related to the two Tshuma brothers. A villager, who spoke on condition of anonymity alleged that Constable Mhike came from Bulawayo and passed through Gokwe Police Station where he collected three other police officers who armed themselves with police dogs, rifles and teargas canisters and proceeded to Gwanyika. The villager further alleged that on arrival, the police officers met Calvin and set dogs on him before Cst Mhike assaulted him with open hands and booted feet.

“Calvin sustained injuries on the leg and back before they forced-marched him to where the village head and his father Mr Phineas Chalisegera Tshuma were. They forced everyone who was at his homestead including other villagers to lie down.

Some of the villagers refused to lie down and ConstableMhike fired something which we suspect could be a teargas choking everyone who was seated around. He also set dogs on Reason,” said the villager.

A police source also confirmed that Calvin and Reason were taken to Gokwe Police Station where they were detained before being taken to court the following day facing assault charges.

“The court said the case will proceed by way of summons as there was no prima-facie case against the two and were released immediately,” said the police source.

According to a police medical report written by a Constable Mavhudzi who is based at Gokwe Central Police Station which was seen by Sunday News, Calvin was bitten by police dogs.

Constable Mhike confirmed the incident saying the two had beaten up his younger brother Life. He, however, could not shed more light as he said he needed police clearance to speak to the media.

“What happened is that the two people teamed up with two other people and assaulted my brother. Before I say anything else, I need to be cleared by my superiors,” he said.

Calvin, confirmed that he was bitten by police dogs after they were let loose by Constable Mhike and his colleagues while accusing him of assaulting his brother.

“I did not assault his brother but he just targeted me because our families have a long standing dispute. I am still nursing the wounds and I suspect they have an infection. I have been seeking treatment for a month now and I now need to see specialists. I have used over $500,” he said.

Calvin said he reported the matter to the police against Constable Mhike and was awaiting feedback from the police.

Midlands Police Spokesperson Inspector Joel Goko could neither deny nor confirm the incident.

“We need to get a memo from the responsible station before we could confirm or deny. If a report of that nature was made we will ask for details,” he said.