HIGH Court judge Justice Felistus Chatukuta yesterday dismissed an application for bail pending appeal by a Zimbabwe National Army officer Zephaniah Munyuki, who is serving an effective seven-month jail term for assaulting a Nyabira police inspector identified as Ndemele.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
In dismissing the application, Justice Chatukuta said Munyuki’s behaviour was “unacceptable” and deserved a deterrent sentence.
Munyuki, who was based at the Parachute Regiment in Nyabira, will complete his seven-month effective jail term after Justice Chatukuta dismissed his application for bail pending appeal.
“I do not believe a different court faced with the same circumstances would give a different sentence. I am inclined to agree with the State that the court aquo did not misdirect itself in imposing a custodial sentence since there was an attack on a law-enforcement agent,” Justice Chatukuta said.
“The mere fact that the accused persons had to be restrained by six police officers is a clear indication that they were violent.
“The behaviour of the applicant (Munyuki) is unacceptable given the fact that he is an army officer, but assaulted a police officer who was carrying out his duties of protecting a complainant. I do not believe the applicant will be entitled to anything other than a custodial sentence and the application for bail pending appeal is, therefore, dismissed.”
The court heard that the incident leading to Munyuki’s incarceration alongside Wonder Chiwambu (28), Ivor Butau (26) and Trymore Vambe (32), who were slapped with five-month effective jail terms each, occurred on August 6 at Tounton Farm in Darwendale.
On the day in question, Munyuki is said to have teamed up with his accomplices and confronted Albert Lucia Kamicho, alias Mwale at his farm. Munyuki then forcibly got into Kamicho’s yard. The accused then twisted Ndemele’s arm and shoved him to the ground. Ndemele was trying to intervene in the dispute.
In the ensuing melee, another police officer who was present at the scene intervened and asked them to have their matter resolved at the police station, but the quartet became violent.
The court heard Ndemele then called for re-enforcement from the police station and four other officers arrived and managed to contain the gang, leading to the arrests.