CHIREDZI — Two junior police officers based at Gezani Police Station in Chikombedzi appeared in court yesterday facing charges of killing a suspected wife-basher they had been assigned to arrest.
BY PATRICK CHITONGO/
Constables Patrick Matutu (31) and Michael Tatenda Kutsukuta (26) were not asked to plead to the murder charge when they appeared before Chiredzi magistrate Honest Musiyiwa.
State counsel Gladmore Gwara told the court that on January 31 this year, the two cops were assigned to arrest Rungani Gezani and have him charged for assaulting his wife Tsatsawani Chauke.
When the policemen arrived at Gezani’s home in Chavani village under Chief Sengwe’s area, the suspect allegedly claimed that he was not the person they were looking for and instead, directed them to his neighbour.
As Matutu left to enquire at the neighbour’s home, Gezani fled from, but the policemen gave chase and handcuffed him.
They then allegedly assaulted him with a dry wooden stick all over and made him run an eight-kilometre distance with his hands cuffed together before he collapsed and died along the way to the police station.
Gezani’s body was carried to Chiredzi General Hospital for post mortem while the stick which was allegedly used in committing the offence was recovered from the murder scene. The police officers were remanded in custody to February 20.
Meanwhile, incarcerated police Assistant Commissioner Gideon Baloyi yesterday pleaded with the High Court to consider granting him bail pending appeal arguing that the failure by the court to release him now would render his appeal a non-event should his appeal against both conviction and sentence be upheld by the higher court. Through his lawyer Advocate Thabani Mpofu, Baloyi argued that the magistrate who dealt with his matter wrongfully convicted him and failed to take into account his side of the story which was not disputed by the State.
Mpofu said the magistrate further misdirected himself by denying Baloyi a chance to execute his appeal out of custody after failing to give reasons on why he had dismissed his bail pending appeal.