THREE Bulawayo police officers who were arrested on March 13 this year on allegations of stealing copper cables and assault were found not guilty and acquitted of both charges.
Tapiwa Taruberekera (39), Rodrick Tauyanago (34) and Kudzai Wemba (33) through their lawyer Tinashe Dzipe, denied the charges when they appeared before Western Commonage, Magistrate Sibongile, Marondedze last week.
They were being charged for contravening section 60A(3)(a)(b) of the Electricity Act (cutting, damaging, destroying or interfering with copper cables for generating, transmitting, distributing or supplying electricity) and assault.
On Wednesday, Marondedze found the police officers not guilty citing lack of evidence.
This was after Dzipe tendered evidence during trial that the police officers should be complainants due to the treatment they received following citizen’s arrest.
In an interview, Dzipe told Southern Eye that the acquittal of his clients was a clear sign that they were wrongly charged.
The court was told that on March 13, Tauyanago, Taruberekera and Wemba were allegedly caught red-handed stealing about 34 metres of Zesa overhead 2,5mm copper cables and 76 metres of gauge single core valued at US$7 000.
It is alleged that one of the residents was awakened by the noise the suspected thieves were making as they were cutting the copper cables.
He alerted other residents who launched a manhunt in a bushy area, leading to their arrest, with one of them in police uniform.
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