GWERU — Riot police yesterday went on the rampage beating up touts at TM and Kudzanai bus terminus after a police officer was allegedly knocked down by a commuter omnibus.
The police rounded up and detained close to 80 touts at Gweru Central Police Station.
The touts were still detained in a fence and guarded by heavily armed police details at Gweru Central Police Station yesterday morning. A witness at TM said the police officer was knocked down on Wednesday morning and the driver was taken to Gweru Central Police Station.
“There was a minor scuffle between touts and a police officer who had been knocked down by a kombi driver,” said the woman who identified herself as Gloria.
“The police officer then went with the driver in a kombi to Gweru Central.
“But in the afternoon, police armed with guns and baton sticks stormed the rank and started rounding up and beating up touts.
“Some (touts) had to seek refuge at the nearby army barracks.”
However, acting Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Assistant Emmanuel Mahoko refuted allegations that the clampdown on the touts was linked to the alleged accident.
He said it was a normal routine police exercise to round up touts in the city.
“Whenever the public raises an outcry about the touts we round them up,” he said.
“This is a normal police routine exercise and there are no sinister motives about that.
“If the public are saying police were beating up people, did you see any injured person?”