By Costa Nkomo
POLICE Commissioner General Godwin Matanga has admitted his subordinates messed up when they threw teargas cannisters into a bus full of passengers at a bus stop near the Harare showgrounds early this week.
Home Affairs Minister Kazembe Kazembe also reaffirmed authorities’ commitment to bring to account the seven police operatives.
The two were addressing a joint press briefing in Harare Friday on the increase in gun crime in the country currently.
Zimbabweans were outraged to see video recorded images of panicking passengers jumping off through windows of a stationary bus on social media.
Kazembe said the concerned police details were still being investigated.
“Investigations are on-going to understand what exactly transpired but no one is above the law,” said the minister.
“If there was an excessive force that was applied when it was not supposed to be applied, I can tell you those police officers have been arrested to explain that conduct.”
Matanga also said his seven subordinates were still being investigated.
“We have arrested seven officers. We are going to charge them under Police Act and what then happens, the officers who are carrying out investigations are the ones who are going to pick the appropriate charge from the Police Act and definitely charge them,” Matanga said.
“But as far as I am concerned right now, I can generally say they performed their duty improperly. So, don’t worry everything is being handled properly.”
Zimbabwe Peace Project director Jestina Mukoko said “it was inhuman for the responsible police details to subject people on the bus to such treatment.”
She added, “We had hoped to have known the identities of the responsible details but up to now it seems it is not clear what they will be charged with.
“They have not even made an appearance in court. By the way it is the lives of citizens that was put at risk on the bus and an even more serious risk when people were rushing to get off through the windows.”