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State withdraws charges against shot, injured cop



The State yesterday withdrew charges against a police officer who was shot and injured by his colleagues during January’s protests against fuel price hikes, citing lack of evidence.

Ignatius Zuze was shot and arrested in Epworth for participating in the violent anti-government protests.

The State, represented by Sebastian Mutizirwa, told magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa that the State was no longer pursuing the matter as there was no evidence linking Zuze to committing the offence.

Zuze was being represented by Lorretta Makumbe, a member of the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.

The cop failed to appear for trial together with other 61 Epworth suspected protesters after he was hospitalised under police guard following gunshot injuries he sustained.

However, some of the suspects who were arrested together with Zuze have since been acquitted of the allegations for lack of evidence.

The Epworth residents were accused of barricading Chiremba Road using stones and burning some vehicle tyres and pulling down a sign post at a police station, which the State said disturbed free human and traffic movement.

But magistrate Francis Mapfumo ruled that the State failed to establish a compelling case against the Epworth residents which would warrant that they be placed on their defence.

In that case, magistrate also ruled that the evidence led during trial by the State was shown to be manifestly unreliable, hence it was not safe to rely upon it and that most of the accused persons were not even at the scene of the crime as no one claimed to have identified them committing any offence.

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