Fifteen (15) police officers who allegedly brutalised ZANU PF members in Mashonaland Central Province were arrested after President Emmerson Mnangagwa and top party officials’ intervention, reported The Standard.
The police officers, who are from Bindura, appeared in court last week charged with violence after they allegedly disrupted a ZANU PF meeting at Mupandira Business Centre in Musana.
They have since been suspended from work and were granted $5 000 bail each.
The Standard reported sources close to the case as saying that all police officers from the station who were on duty, including the officer-in-charge identified as Inspector Phiri were summoned to Harare on 10 October.
They were expected to explain to police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga what had happened on 5 October leading to the skirmishes.
The police officers were reportedly summoned to State House on 11 October to explain to Mnangagwa what happened.
Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe and Bindura South MP Remigio Matangira, as well as scores of ZANU PF supporters from Bindura, were at State House.
The ZANU PF supporters reportedly told Mnangagwa that the police officers unleashed dogs on them and used teargas to disrupt the meeting. Said a source:
After some time, Kazembe, Matangira, Matanga, Phiri and other top cops went into a private meeting with Mnangagwa.
Kazembe, who is also the ZANU PF Mashonaland Central provincial chairman, said he could not disclose what happened at the meeting with Mnangagwa. He said:
I cannot discuss with newspapers a meeting we had with the president.
Mnangagwa’s spokesperson George Charamba referred questions to the secretary for presidential communications Regis Chikowore.
Chikowore was not picking calls yesterday and also did not respond to questions sent to him via WhatsApp.
Meanwhile, ZANU PF officials in Mashonaland Central Province said trouble started when a gang, which included ZANU PF members attacked three police officers, who wanted to arrest a suspect over an assault case. Said a witness:
The group, which survives by chopping and selling firewood, became violent. They demanded that the police leave their colleague alone and soon turned violent.
The police officer was attacked by over 50 youths and is partially blind now. After the attack, the police went to the shopping centre looking for the suspects.
Kabasa (the police officer who was assaulted) managed to identify one of them but before the police arrested him, the youths started throwing stones at the law enforcement agents.
The police were forced to fire teargas in self-defence and eventually managed to round up people and arrested eight.
The ZANU PF meeting was held at some distance from the shopping centre where the violence took place.
The eight, who were arrested appeared in court on October 6 charged with obstruction of justice. They are out on $4 000 bail each.