Pirate taxi cop evades roadblocks, tollgate
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)