THE former Officer-in-Charge at Inyathi Police Station Chief Inspector Muhlaba Sibanda, who was being charged with criminal abuse of office, has been removed from remand after the State failed to fix a trial date.
By Our Staff Reporter
Sibanda (49) was charged after he allegedly arrested a villager over a gold deal that went sour.
He denied the charges when he initially appeared at the Nkayi Magistrates Court on January 10 before the case was transferred to Bulawayo.
However, Sibanda’s trial failed to take off several times as the State kept postponing the case.
Last Thursday, Bulawayo magistrate Learnmore Mapiye advised Sibanda that the case would proceed by way of summons when the State is ready to go for trial.
The court heard that between July and August 2011, Sibanda allegedly sold fish worth R400 to Ignatius Khabo on credit.
He later allegedly gave Khabo an additional R600 and advised him to buy him gold instead of paying back the money in cash.
A few days later, Khabo allegedly told Sibanda he had failed to get the gold and promised to return his money.
They allegedly agreed that R1 000 was equivalent to $120, but Khabo only paid $80.
On January 5 this year, Sibanda allegedly drove to Khabo’s home in a Zanu PF-marked vehicle in the company of Albert Dowie.
After Khabo indicated that he did not have the money on him, Sibanda allegedly went into a frenzy and assaulted the former and only stopped following the intervention of Khabo’s parents and wife.
Sibanda later drove away, but returned on January 6 driving the same vehicle in the company of five plain clothed policemen.
The policemen advised Khabo’s family members that they were under arrest for allegedly assaulting Sibanda the previous day.
Khabo and his family were taken to Inyathi Police Station where they were locked up and later released without charge.
Khabo reported the alleged abuse to police in Nkayi leading to the senior cop’s arrest.