BINGA A member of the Binga neighbourhood watch committee collapsed in court yesterday after he was slapped with a 12-month jail term for assaulting a stocktheft suspect he and his colleagues had apprehended.
Joseph Hove (48) and Ubert Maziyofa, both community security members, and a villager, Richard Gwenhamo all from Gokwe, were jointly charged with assault when they appeared before Binga resident magistrate Stephen Ndlovu.
Hove pleaded guilty to the charge while his colleagues pleaded not guilty and was immediately sentenced. He collapsed and fainted soon after the sentence was read out to him.
The court later suspended four months of the sentence on condition of good behaviour, leaving him to serve an effective eight-month jail term.
Hoves co-accused, Maziyofa and Gwenhamo, were remanded out of custody to March 12 for continuation of trial.
On January 4 this year, Hove, Maziyofa and Gwenhamo arrested Kenneth Manamike at Lusulu in Binga on allegations of stealing two donkeys belonging to Gokwe villagers.
The trio allegedly assaulted the suspect using a log and baton stick.
As a result, Manamike sustained serious injuries all over the body and he was taken to St Patricks Hospital in Hwange for treatment.
A medical report produced by the doctor showed he suffered a swollen limb, bruises on the back and left shoulder, left arm and leg. The doctor declared the injuries were serious, but not permanent.
When Hove was asked why he assaulted Manamike, he said: I was trying to recover the two donkeys which he had stolen from Gokwe. I thought I was using minimum force as we were taught at our police training workshops.
Bruce Maphosa prosecuted.