A police officer stationed at Tongwe base in rural Beitbridge recently appeared in court for allegedly insulting President Emmerson Mnangagwa and threatening to arrest ZANU PF members who were drinking beer at a local business centre, reported CITE.

The accused, Constable Tapfuma, is being charged with contravening Paragraph (5) 35 of the Schedule to the Police Act, Chapter 11. 10 as read with sections 29 and 34 of the said Act: “Acting in an unbecoming and disorderly manner or in any manner prejudicial to good order and discipline and reasonably likely to bring discredit to the police service.”

Allegations are that on 14 May 2023 at around 6.30 PM at Vendason Bottle Store, Constable Tapfuma was drinking beer and playing snooker with other patrons.

He allegedly insulted and threatened to arrest three ZANU PF members who were also at the bottle store.

The complainants are Mauritius Nare, Junior Ngorima and Freddy Sibindi. Part of the State outline reads:

Upon noticing the three, the defaulter started insulting them saying, imi madhara eZANU PF munoita titambure, mukauya ku base kwangu makapfeka hembe ye ZANU PF ndokusunga! Meaning to say “ZANU PF supporters are causing people to suffer and if they enter a police camp whilst wearing ZANU PF regalia he will arrest them.”

The defaulter went on to say that he has been deployed at Tongwe base to make sure MDC wins this year’s elections.

The defaulter’s conduct was not in line with the ZRP code of conduct and brings the name of the organisation into disrepute.

Sibindi, who is headman under Chief Sitaudze, alleged that the police officer also claimed that he had assaulted one Habakkuk Ndou, a patron at the bottle store, for his allegiance to the ruling party. Said Sibindi:

I heard Constable Tapfuma telling Habakkuk Ndou who has a scar on his thigh that it was them as MDC members who had assaulted him, He said “ronda raunaro wakarohwa nesu isu vanhu ve MDC.

I rebuked him for uttering such sentiments. When I was about to leave the bottle store Constable Tapfuma grabbed me by the hand and asked me which political party I belonged to.

I replied that I belonged to ZANU PF and I was born a ZANU PF member. Constable Tapfuma started shouting at me saying (obscenities/vulgar) vanhu veZANU PF pamwe chete na President wenyu. Hamugoni kutonga.  Iwe wakagumira grade 5, President wenyu akagumira grade 7. Mapurisa akadeployiwa kuno kuma ruzevha ndee MDC gore rino ZANU PF hamuhwini,nyika ndeyedu isu ve MDC” which means you ZANU PF followers together with your president you are not educated. You only attained education up to grade 5 level and your president up to grade 7 level. All young police officers who are deployed in all these rural areas belong to MDC. This year ZANU PF is not winning elections and MDC is going to win.

In his testimony, Nare the village head of Makawa village under Chief Sitaudze also alleged that he heard Constable Tapfuma saying he would arrest any person who would come to the base to make a report wearing ZANU PF regalia.

Sibindi said he phoned Ward 4 Councillor Ketina Moyo and ZANU PF Beitbridge DCC Chairperson Samuel Mulaudzi and informed them about the ordeal.

Sibindi said the following morning, he went to the police base to confront Constable Tapfuma but he denied having uttered such words and pleaded for forgiveness stating that maybe he was drunk. Added Sibindi:

He begged me not to report the incident to anyone including his superiors. I left him and went home.

- Pindula