'Killer cops fabricated charges'

HARARE - A state witness has told the court seven cops accused of murder fabricated charges against Shamva residents to cover up for their manslaughter.

The police officers all stationed at Shamva Police Station were identified as Aspias Shumba, Motion Jakopo, Simon Mafunda, Michael Makwalo, Lee Makope, Benedict Tapfuma and Blessing Saidi.

Shumba is the officer-in-charge at Shamva Police Station and together with his subordinates are accused of killing Luxmore Chivambo during an exercise to recover a wallet stolen from Shumba’s wife Judith.

Judith was robbed of a purse containing $100 and a Nokia 7209 cellphone by an unidentified person on March 17 last year.

The officers denied murdering Chivambo and told the court that he was perhaps attacked by a “stray missile” pelted by a rogue mob while attempting to attack police officers who had raided shebeens in his neighbourhood.

However, Shepherd Hudye, a Shamva resident, who testified yesterday told the court that he was arrested on allegations of selling liquor without a licence but claims the charges came up after the police realised Chivambo’s deteriorating conditions.

“Our relatives compromised to pay fine after they realised that we were badly hurt. The police realised the intensity of the situation and pressed charges against us,” Hudye said.

The cops claim the residents were only aggrieved after being arrested for selling liquor without a licence and are using the murder charges to nail the police officers to revenge the arrests.

The police officers are accused of indiscriminately attacking the residents, leading to Chivambo’s death and the hospitalisation of 11 others. - Tendai Kamhungira

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