Pi­rate taxi cop evades road­blocks, toll­gate

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Mashudu Net­sianda

A PO­LICE of­fi­cer op­er­at­ing an un­reg­is­tered pub­lic trans­port ve­hi­cle al­legedly shot past three road­blocks and evaded a toll­gate along the Bu­l­awayo-Beit­bridge Road.

Con­sta­ble Felix Matare is now fac­ing a charge of con­tra­ven­ing sec­tions 29 and 34 of the Po­lice Act.

He is ac­cused of act­ing in an un­be­com­ing and dis­or­derly man­ner prej­u­di­cial to good or­der or en­gag­ing in con­duct likely to bring dis­credit to the Po­lice Ser­vice.

Cst Matare, who is based at Mad­lam­buzi Po­lice Sta­tion, has since filed a court ap­pli­ca­tion at the Bu­l­awayo High Court chal­leng­ing the trial pro­ceed­ings which are be­ing presided over by one Su­per­in­ten­dent E Sibanda.

It is the state case that on April 5 this year at around 8AM, an In­spec­tor Mab­hungu was at Mawabeni road­block site along the Beit­bridge-Bu­l­awayo Road when he spot­ted Cst Matare’s Toy­ota Gran­via ap­proach­ing from a dis­tance.

When the car got closer, Insp Mab­hungu in­structed his sub­or­di­nate to stop but Cst Matare al­legedly de­fied the or­der and sped past the road­block.

Insp Mab­hungu fol­lowed Cst Matare in a po­lice ve­hi­cle and caught up with him at the 49km peg and sig­nalled him to stop. Cst Matare al­legedly ig­nored the or­der and con­tin­ued to­wards Bu­l­awayo.

Insp Mab­hungu phoned his coun­ter­parts at Esigo­dini toll­gate to block Const Matare’s car. On ar­rival at the toll­gate, Cst Matare no­ticed that he had been blocked by armed po­lice of­fi­cers.

He al­legedly dropped a $2 note and es­caped through the far left side of the boom gate and sped off. Cst Matare was again stopped by traf­fic cops on high­way pa­trol and al­legedly did not com­ply.

In his High Court ap­pli­ca­tion, Cst Matare cited the trial of­fi­cer and Po­lice Com­mis­sioner-Gen­eral Augustine Chi­huri as the re­spon­dents.

He wants the trial to start anew be­fore a trial of­fi­cer from a dif­fer­ent prov­ince.

In his found­ing af­fi­davit, Const Matare said the trial pro­ceed­ings were con­ducted in an ir­reg­u­lar and un­law­ful “mil­i­tant” man­ner.

“I did not even plead to the al­le­ga­tions and I ended up seated while the trial pros­e­cu­tor was pro­ceed­ing with the trial. The trial of­fi­cer is the one who was ac­tu­ally lead­ing the state wit­ness un­til all the wit­nesses gave their ev­i­dence,” he said.

The re­spon­dents have not yet filed op­pos­ing papers.

Com­muters at Renk­ini Long Dis­tance Bus Ter­mi­nus in Bu­l­awayo (Pic­ture by Den­nis Mudza­miri)

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