EASTERN NEWS | Masekesa assailants in custody

MUTARE - Six men, including cops, soldiers and municipal police officers who were allegedly contracted by a senior council official to assault a local journalist he accused of having an affair with his live-in girlfriend have all been arrested.

The attack — including handcuffing, assault and smearing mud on Clayton Masekesa — which was calculated to inflict pain and humiliation, was recorded by the assailants and shared on social media where it has since gone viral.

Saul Tom, whose girlfriend allegedly dated Masekesa, Penlock Majoni, Everson Mark Marowa, Hope Mwaipa, Joachim Runyanga, and John Takaendesa have since appeared before magistrate Perseverance Makala on assault charges.

The team had been working together in a council-led traffic by-law enforcement operation. 

They are denying the charges.

According to State papers, Masekesa was on June 7 at around 1300 hours invited to Tom’s house in Hospital Hill by the live-in girlfriend through a text message.

A few minutes after his arrival, two of the accused persons came in, handcuffed him and started harassing him.

They took him outside and immediately, a Mitsubishi police vehicle registration number ZRP 093 E arrived with Tom, Majoni and a soldier.

Tom and the soldier started assaulting him with a baton and open hands while Majoni and another cop were recording a video of the attack with their phones.

His legs were then cuffed in the continuing assault.

They then poured water on him while ordering him to roll on the ground before pasting his face and head with mud.

Tom’s girlfriend was allegedly crying during the assault. Masekesa in the meantime, tried to plead with them to let him go but to no avail.

After about five hours, he was then taken to Civic Centre in the police vehicle where he was assaulted further and had water poured on him with a hosepipe. Two municipal police officers also covered his face with a jacket and took turns to slap him.

Beaten up, drenched and muddy, Takaendesa who is a senior municipal officer, later instructed him to leave.

He sustained swollen buttocks, legs, and arms and was medically examined following a police report.

The accused were yesterday remanded in custody to June 26 and asked to apply for bail at the High Court.

Fletcher Karombe was prosecuting.


Gold dealer fined $400

MUTARE - A licensed gold-dealing company has been fined $400 for possession of excess 5 557 grammes of smelted gold to the amounts shown in their permit register.

Bettliff Enterprises, represented by Mahdi Akil, was convicted on its own plea of guilt by magistrate Perseverance Makala.

It was being charged with possession of gold not shown in register permit holder in contravention of section 3 as read with section 9 of the Gold Trade Act chapter 21:03.

They were ordered to settle the fine immediately or have their property attached.

Chris Ndhlovu represented the company.

Prosecuting, Brighton Shamhuyarira told the court how on June 8, detectives from minerals and border control unit (MBCU) were on patrol checking on legal gold dealers for compliance with the Gold Trade Act.

The MBCU detectives, upon arrival at the company’s premises, introduced themselves and explained their mission to one Abdulkadir Punjani, who produced 334 grammes from his track bottom and claimed that it was all the gold there was at the company.

The detectives then asked to search the house. As they searched one of two compartments in an in-built wardrobe, they discovered that it had two floors and upon lifting one, they saw a hole from where they discovered the 5 223 grammes of smelted gold

They checked the permit registered and the gold was not recorded, leading to the confiscation of the gold.

The gold was, however, recorded in the company’s internal register and the court ordered that police to return the gold to the company and escort it to Fidelity Printers for sale.

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