BY TAFADZWA KACHIKO
Chitungwiza mayor Lovemore Maiko was on Sunday evening allegedly assaulted by four soldiers and two police officers on his way to park his vehicle after rushing to a local clinic with a resident who needed urgent medical attention.
Government imposed a 6pm to 6am curfew, which prohibits those who offer non-essential services from moving around after hours.
Maiko, who is nursing injuries at home, told NewsDay yesterday that the security officers — who demanded that he leave his car, keys and two cellphones after failing to bribe them — took turns to beat him up, turning a deaf ear to circumstances that forced him to travel during that time.
“I was beaten severely by four soldiers and two police officers at around 8pm on my way to park my car following an emergency visit to a local clinic with a resident who needed urgent medical attention. The armed soldiers took turns to beat me, asked me to bribe them to be free and took all my belongings after I failed to give them money which I didn’t even have at that particular time,” he said.
“I then recovered my belongings through assistance from senior officers at St Mary’s Police Station. I was also given a request for a medical report to be assisted and I was treated at a private clinic. I am actually shocked that these officers harassed me without understanding my circumstances and thereafter demanded a bribe. I was very disturbed by this robbery and terrorism.”
He said a police officer based at St Mary’s Police Station dragged him while asking for a bribe to secure his release.
“I told them I had no cash and opted to send through EcoCash. They started beating me again saying they don’t accept EcoCash. I requested to go to look for the money and I was set free … As I was going, they took my car keys, phones and the car,” he said.
A resident assisted him and he called ward 21 councillor Kudakwashe John, who helped to alert the police.
“I called councillor John who came to my rescue, we then called senior police officers at the station — member-in-charge Tsitsi Marazanye, her deputy Priscilla Muguro and Violet Kapofu — and asked them to help me recover my belongings. They then assisted me with officers who include Sengere, and we recovered everything.”
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said he was yet to receive the report.
“I have not received the report and I wouldn’t want to relate what you’re saying to the curfew. These are two separate issues and I would need to find out from Chitungwiza if they have that report or not,” he said.