A LAWYER representing four Harare residents arrested for allegedly leading the stoning of Harare Central Police Station last week yesterday claimed his clients were nabbed to justify police’s negligence, which resulted in the fatal shooting of two innocent civilians.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Bothwell Ndlovu, representing Gibson Kataruware, Dennis Kondo, Prince Beni and Emmanuel Muzariri who are being charged with public violence, told magistrate Annie Ndiraya that his clients were potential witnesses in helping the State to identify the police officers who killed the two civilians.
Ndlovu said it was ridiculous for the State to oppose bail on a mere charge of violence, considering that the suspects were tortured and in need of urgent medical attention.
“It is nonsensical to deny the suspects bail. Citizens were killed that is common knowledge some were tortured and cannot walk properly due to the policy brutality while in their custody and some are battling for their lives at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals,” he said.
While opposing bail the investigating officer Leonard Chitororo told the court that the suspects were all sold out by their blue T-shirts, but his evidence was trashed by Ndlovu, who said the arrests show that they were only hunting for those wearing blue T-shirts on the day.
“These are frivolous allegations and they actually deserve their freedom because they are victims of police brutality. Your worship surely in this era of new dispensation we want police to exercise their duty properly not killing innocent citizens,” Ndlovu said.
Magistrate Ndiraya is expected to pass her ruling today.
Allegations are that on February 23 Evans Gogo, Kataruware, Kondo, Beni and Muzariri threw stones at police officers manning Harare Central Police Station pedestrian entrance, thereby shattering window panes.
It is alleged the suspects also stoned a Police Reaction Group vehicle and damaged its windows.
Sebastian Mutizirwa appeared for the State.