By NQOBANI NDLOVU
BULAWAYO police have intensified stop and search patrols in the central business district (CBD) and in the residential areas following a surge in violent robberies, but went too far yesterday.
A Bulawayo-based milling company was left seething with anger after police on night patrol arrested and detained overnight its employees coming from a night-shift after accusing them of being thieves.
However, police spokesperson, assistant Inspector Nomalanga Msebele said police were not taking chances, hence the intensification of the night patrols to eradicate crime in the city.
“We have witnessed a lot of robberies in the city. As a result, we have intensified stop and search patrols in our fight against crime and we urge residents to carry with them identity particulars,” Msebele said.
Directors of Rite Price Foods milling company, Alex Goosen and Abednico Bhebhe, however, were not amused by the arrest of their employees who spent Thursday night at Bulawayo Central Police station holding cells after they were nabbed during the police stop and search operation.
They were arrested on their way from work in the CBD and only released yesterday morning following the intervention of their employers.
“The arresting officers and the one who detained them violated the police charter. The very essence of the charter that allows for investigations before arrest was violated,” Bhebhe said.
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“We want those cops punished because that kind of behaviour cannot be tolerated…we will be pursuing court action against the police if there is no disciplinary action against the arresting officers.”
Goosen added: “I had to bring the company time book to show that indeed they were coming from work to facilitate their release. Their arrest is not only shocking, but is also a violation of their rights to work.”