A member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP)’s Police Protection Unit (PPU) has been charged alongside a commuter omnibus conductor after being accused of indecently assaulting a police officer during a scuffle over R5 change last Thursday.
The conductor, Tendai Zhou (18) and police officer Philani Nkiwane (28) pleaded not guilty to the charge when they appeared before magistrate Nomsa Sabarauta yesterday and were remanded out of custody on $50 bail.
The incident that landed the two men in trouble occurred near the intersection of Park Lane and Leopold Takawira Street in Harare soon after the 24-year-old female officer disembarked from the commuter omnibus.
The court heard that Zhou partnered the complainant with an unidentified female passenger to find change for a $1 note handed over to the complainant after he had failed to give them R5 each.
It is alleged the female passenger felt that the complainant was reluctant to find change and she returned and demanded her change from Zhou.
Upon realising that the complainant was leaving, Zhou allegedly ran after her and grabbed her by her jacket and when she turned around she allegedly grabbed Zhou by the collar.
During the ensuing scuffle, Zhou is alleged to have grabbed the complainant by the front of her blouses and in the process touched her breasts.
The court heard that Nkiwane, who was the passenger in the commuter omnibus, intervened to restrain the two, but the woman grabbed his cap prompting Nkiwane to wrestle the complainant for his cap.
The court further heard that at that point, Zhou grabbed the complainant’s breasts again as he tried to assist Nkiwane, who at the time allegedly had grabbed the complainant’s buttocks as they pulled her back into the vehicle.
The complainant reported the matter to the police leading to the duo’s arrest.