Drunken cops on the run after bashing residents

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By Matabeleland North Correspondent

Victoria Falls: Police here are hunting for four of their junior colleagues who allegedly got drunk while in uniform and started beating up two neighbours, leaving them for dead.

The incident happened on Friday night in the resort town’s Mkhosana suburb.

The suspects have not been arrested and their identities are not yet known as they were said to have been off duty at the time.

This has also raised fears of criminal activities by police officers while in uniform.

One of the victims, Munyaradzi Sako, aged 29, sustained bruises on the back, head and face following the brutal assault.

Sako is still admitted at Victoria Falls Hospital while the other victim is Stanley Chiwambo, 41, who also sustained injuries but was recovering at home.

When the junior officers were committing the abuses, residents were forced to run for dear life thinking the assaults had been sanctioned by their superiors keen on enforcing the national lockdown against coronavirus.

Noticing that their assailants were drunk, residents mobilised and alerted other members of the ZRP.

When the four were committing the assaults, they are said to have suddenly pounced on Sako in full view of his mother and dragged him out of the yard where they gave him a thorough beating until he fainted.

Chiwambo was assaulted when he tried to intervene while some neighbours who also tried to restrain the quartet were threatened with assault.

“They were clearly drunk but in uniform,” said a neighbour Sam Muleya.

“Earlier during the day, they had been seen drinking in the suburb and we were all shocked with the way they beat up people.”

He said the four fled from the scene seeing that residents had mobilised intending to met out instant justice.

The attacks were condemned by Victoria Falls Combined Residents Association chairman, Morgen Gazza Dube who said the behaviour by the police officers betrayed the trust bestowed on the force by society.

Police said they were still investigating the case to establish which of their officers committed the offences as they were not on duty.

The attack comes at a time when police have been warning residents to comply with a 21-day national lockdown order imposed by government since Monday to curtail the spread of Covid-19 which has killed tens of thousands around the world.