Police officer jailed for manhandling court official

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A 28-YEAR-OLD Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer, Barbra Chipatiso, was recently slapped with a 10-month jail term after she was convicted of assaulting a community service officer at the Mbare Magistrates’ Court.

CHARLES LAITON

Chipatiso appeared before magistrate Stanley Mambanje charged with manhandling Shingirai Matavire in her office and despite being convicted of the offence, she reportedly behaved arrogantly, forcing the magistrate to slap her with an effective five-month jail term.

“As a member of the police force, more was expected of her. She clearly exhibited lack of respect for protocol. She was carrying out a private investigation in the name of the police. She physically manhandled a person carrying out official duties in her office,” Mambanje said.

“The lack of respect to other office bearers and the court, and her refusal to go out of the dock after being excused showed she knows no authority. This makes the court wonder if she will be able to perform and complete community service, which the court had thought of imposing. This court has no doubt that her unrepentant behaviour would not suit a community service sentence, as she is also likely going to disrespect the one supervising her during her community service performance.”

Allegations against Chipatiso, who has since approached the High Court for bail pending appeal, were that on November 4 last year, she was in the company of a colleague, when they approached Matavire and her workmates while in their office at the Mbare Magistrates’ Court.

The court heard Chipatiso and her colleague requested for the community service court record of an ex-convict, Solomon Mombeshora, who was convicted of culpable homicide at the Mbare Magistrates’ Court sometime in 2011 and was sentenced to perform community service at Parirenyatwa Hospital.

Matavire’s supervisor, however, told Chipatiso and her colleague the record they were looking for had already been referred to the Harare Magistrates’ Court by the director of community service.

This did not go down well with the two, who then accused Matavire and her workmates of attempting to defeat the course of justice.

The court heard Chipatiso then blocked Matavire’s supervisor from going out for lunch and when Matavire intervened, the cop grabbed her by the neck, but was restrained from assaulting the community service officer by her colleague.

“She has not shown contrition…Her conduct brought the name of the police force into disrepute. Further, she exhibited contemptuous behaviour in court during recording of mitigation . . . She, of course, would not be punished for this, but it can be interpreted as contemptuous, arrogant and disrespectful especially coming from a police officer,” Mambanje said.

1 COMMENT

  1. Thats the caliber of the majority of Police men and women. It seems they only hire people who are unfit to wear a uniform

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