Cop kid­nap sus­pect walks

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Than­deka Moyo

A BULAWAYO pi­rate taxi driver was ac­quit­ted of kid­nap­ping and as­sault­ing two po­lice­men who were try­ing to ar­rest him for oper­at­ing il­le­gally.

Re­gional mag­is­trate Mr Mark Dzira dis­charged Liv­ing­stone Saung­weme (41) at the end of his trial.

He said the cops had failed to con­vince the court that Saung­weme kid­napped them. “When one looks at the de­tails of the ev­i­dence on record, it is dif­fi­cult to be­lieve the ac­cused com­mit­ted the two of­fences. Ac­cused must be given the ben­e­fit of doubt and he is there­fore found not guilty and dis­charged,” said Mr Dzira.

In de­fence Saung­weme had said Con­sta­bles Mhlo­muli Matho­bela and Sim­barashe Chi­famba who were de­mand­ing a $20 bribe, as­saulted him.

“I drove my ve­hi­cle home and when I got there, I went in­side and came back with a $50 note. I handed it over and re­quested my change and re­ceipt,” he said.

“One of them said they did not have re­ceipt books and de­clared that they were not go­ing to give me change. He then slapped me and I picked up a stick.”

The court heard Saung­weme missed the of­fi­cer and hit a gate. “He dropped the money and I picked it up,” said Saung­weme.

Pros­e­cut­ing Ti­nashe Dzipe al­leged that on May 27 the two of­fi­cers were do­ing their du­ties in the City Cen­tre when they ar­rested Saung­weme.

“They ac­cused him of oper­at­ing a taxi with­out a cer­tifi­cate of fit­ness and got into his car. They or­dered Saung­weme to drive to Bulawayo Cen­tral Po­lice Sta­tion. Saung­weme how­ever drove in the op­po­site di­rec­tion and re­fused to stop when he was waved down by an­other group of po­lice of­fi­cers at the cor­ner of Loben­gula Street and Ma­sot­sha Ndlovu Av­enue,” said Mr Dzipe.

Saung­weme drove through red traf­fic lights to­wards the Vic­to­ria Falls Road and parked at his house in Sauer­stown, telling the traf­fic cops he wanted to col­lect some money.

“He later came out armed with a metal rod and a knife and charged to­wards the traf­fic of­fi­cers and struck them with the rod, forc­ing them to flee,” he said. — @thamamoe

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