A kombi crew and one woman from Bulawayo appeared before the courts for assaulting a police officer who had tried to arrest the kombi crew.
The kombi driver, Thembani Moyo (41), and his conductor Xola Sibanda (24) both of Makokoba suburb, and Lungisani Mguni (41) of Mpopoma suburb allegedly attacked Constable Speaky Goteka in April after the officer and his colleagues had tried to impound the vehicle.
The kombi was allegedly loading passengers in Makokoba suburb on April 12 without registering with the Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) as required by the laws.
Goteka and his colleagues, Samson Munsaka and Restern Mukumbiri who were attempting to arrest the kombi crew, ordered passengers to disembark from the vehicle thereby irritating Moyo and Mguni.
Immediately, a mob gathered at the scene and started throwing stones at the police officers prompting two of the police officers to jump into the kombi which they drove to Mzilikazi Police Station leaving Goteka behind.
Goteka fled on foot but Moyo and Mguni who were joined by Sibanda pursued and caught up with him and started assaulting him.
Moyo allegedly took the cop’s Itel P36 Lite phone and smashed it on the road. He was saved by Raymond Gutai of Makokoba suburb who hid him in his house.
Goteka sustained a swollen forehead and some bruises on both hands and he was treated at Mpilo Central Hospital.
The three suspects were later arrested for venturing into the city offering transport services without exemption, assault and malicious damage to property charges.
They denied the charges when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Shepherd Mnjanja on Monday.
The commuter omnibus driver said the complainant knew him as an illegal kombi operator but on that particular day he was not pirating.
He said he was approached by police officers as he was parking his vehicle at a nearby house where he was attending a funeral service in Makokoba suburb and they demanded a bribe.
Moyo said when the gathered mourners heard that police officers were demanding a bribe as they were mourning their loved one, they ran amok and started assaulting the complainant.
The trio was remanded out of custody to May 24.
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