By Jane Mlambo| Rusape Magistrate Rufaro Mangwiro has acquitted a 27 year-old woman who had been on trial for allegedly assaulting or resisting a Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer, in a case of spiteful vengeance after the law enforcement agent’s sexual advances towards her were rebuffed.
Nomatter Chikunguru, who resides in Rusape in Manicaland province was arrested on 9 April 2021 by some ZRP officers at around 11: PM and charged with assaulting or resisting a peace officer as defined in section 176 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Chukunguru was accused of refusing to be apprehended by shouting and throwing stones at Constable Brian Kasu and assaulting him when police officers who included Assistant Inspector Chisenye, Assistant Inspector Dhambu, Constable Muza, Constable Makwarimba and Constable Masuka among others, were deployed to enforce some regulations to curb the spread of coronavirus.
During trial, prosecutors told Magistrate Mangwiro that Chikunguru acted unlawfully by refusing to be arrested and shouting and throwing stones at Constable Kasu and assaulting him when police officers who were on night patrol raided a bottle store at Mabvazuva Shopping Centre.
Chikunguru, prosecutors said, was caught by a police dog as ZRP officers were reportedly trying to disperse a riotous “mob”.
However, Magistrate Mangwiro recently acquitted Chikunguru after a full trial.
In her defence, Chikunguru, who was represented by Peggy Tavagadza of Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights, argued that the charges levelled against her were a fabrication to cover up for abuse of power and brutality by Kasu and that she was a victim of police brutality who required the protection of the law.
The 27 year-old woman told Magistrate Mangwiro that she was arrested while she was going home from her work place at Rusape General Hospital, where she is employed as a mortician by Heritage Funeral Parlour.
Chikunguru charged that she was ill-treated by Kasu after she spurned his sexual advances and that some police officers had refused to assist her to report a case against the police officer and had to engage Tavagadza to file a complaint against ZRP officers.