COPS RUN FOR LIFE Of­fi­cer flees with spear in but­tocks Ser­vice gun aban­doned in fra­cas Six dogs used to sub­due en­raged man

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Whins­ley Masara

PO­LICE in Tsholot­sho had to call for re­in­force­ments from the Bu­l­awayo Dog Sec­tion to sub­due and ar­rest a man from Sipepa who ran amok and dis­armed two of­fi­cers be­fore spear­ing one of them in the but­tocks.

The man also at­tacked the po­lice dogs, in­jur­ing one of them with a log.

Matheo Sibanda (34) at­tacked the of­fi­cers who were try­ing to restrain him from smash­ing win­dows at a rel­a­tive’s homestead on Tues­day.

Constable Shep­herd Dube (31) al­legedly fled from the scene with the spear stuck on his be­hind, leav­ing his ser­vice pis­tol on the ground.

His col­league, Cst Mut­setse, took to his heels, with Sibanda, who had picked the gun but was fail­ing to shoot, in hot pur­suit.

Cst Dube is re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at Tsholot­sho Dis­trict hos­pi­tal where the spear has been re­moved.

Vil­lagers said Cst Mut­setse re­turned hours later with po­lice of­fi­cers from Tsholot­sho Cen­tre, about 70 kilo­me­tres from Sipepa.

“Some­how, when he re­alised he was out­num­bered, Sibanda fled from the group and went through a bar­rier made up of thorns. The po­lice of­fi­cers failed to fol­low him and re­turned to their sta­tion as dark­ness had fallen,” said a vil­lager.

The vil­lager said Cst Mut­setse’s hand was badly pricked by the thorns when he tried to give chase.

The of­fi­cers called for back up from the Dog Sec­tion in Bu­l­awayo.

The po­lice mounted a third raid in the wee hours of Wed­nes­day morn­ing with six dogs in tow.

Vil­lagers said po­lice found Sibanda at his homestead where he was re­lax­ing on his bed with the door to his bed­room wide open.

Sources in the com­mu­nity said Sibanda was a no­to­ri­ous crim­i­nal on the wanted list for crimes such as theft and as­sault.

A source close to in­ves­ti­ga­tions said the com­bat­ive Sibanda only sur­ren­dered after three po­lice dogs had at­tacked him. “The man didn’t sur­ren­der easily be­cause po­lice made two trips to his homestead. They ar­rested him on the third at­tempt where they had to use dogs.

“He even hit one of the dogs with a log and they had to re­lease a third one. He ig­nored re­peated po­lice warn­ings, ad­vanc­ing to at­tack them and the dogs. He only gave up after the dogs bit him,” said the source.

A vil­lager who pre­ferred anonymity said “uSibanda ula­man­goromera” (he is pos­sessed by a spirit of vi­o­lence).

The vil­lager said trou­ble started when Sibanda ran amok at a teacher’s homestead, break­ing win­dows over an un­known is­sue on Tues­day.

The vil­lager, who spoke on con­di­tion of anonymity, said Sibanda is re­lated to the teacher.

“All hell broke loose when the teacher made a re­port at Sipepa Po­lice Sta­tion and of­fi­cers tried to ar­rest him,” said the vil­lager.

A po­lice source said in­ves­ti­ga­tors searched his house and found one of the bul­lets from the cop’s gun in a bot­tle with sus­pected charms for juju.

“They quizzed him on the where­abouts of the gun un­til he re­vealed where he had hid­den it. It was found with two bul­lets out of the orig­i­nal four. They found the fourth bul­let some­where at Sibanda’s homestead,” said the source.

Na­tional po­lice spokesper­son Chief Supt Ny­athi con­firmed that a po­lice of­fi­cer was in­jured in an at­tempt to ar­rest a “sus­pected men­tally chal­lenged man.”

“I can con­firm that one of our of­fi­cers was se­ri­ously in­jured by a sus­pected men­tally chal­lenged man in an at­tempt to ar­rest him. In­ves­ti­ga­tions are un­der­way.

“We urge fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties with men­tally chal­lenged per­sons to en­sure that they as­sist in seek­ing med­i­cal at­ten­tion for them so that they don’t be­come a dan­ger to them,” said Chief Supt Ny­athi. — @win­nie_ masara

Matheo Sibanda after he was sub­dued by po­lice dogs

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