. . . court closure delays cops’ case

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Jeffrey Muvundusi
in BULAWAYO

THE trial of six police officers who are facing charges of allegedly brutally assaulting two women from Cowdray Park suburb during the lockdown period has been halted following closure of business at the Western Commonage Court after one prosecutor tested positive for coronavirus.

As a result, the trial has since been postponed to August 17. The six cops Simbarashe Bvekwa, 26, Tichaona Zariro, 34, Patson Gumoreyi, 30 Elizabeth Denhere, 41, Zibusiso Masuku, 27, and Christabel Munyondo, 28, are each facing two counts of assault and have all pleaded not guilty to the charges.

The case will now proceed to trial after Western Commonage Magistrate Gladmore Mushowe dismissed an application by the police officers’ lawyers to have charges dropped.

Yesterday, the magistrate ruled that the reasons for exception cited by the defence counsel did not warrant the application to be upheld, hence the trial should proceed.

It is the State’s case that on April 16, 2020, at around 12pm, the accused persons were on duty enforcing lockdown regulations where they met Ntombizodwa and Nokuthula Mpofu at TM Supermarket whom they allegedly beat using a baton before force-marching them to Cowdray Park police base where they were released the following day after paying a $200 fine each.

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