Matabeleland North Correspondent
THE trial of two of the four policemen who, in a drunken stupor, went berserk and started beating residents with batons at the start of Covid-19 lockdown in Victoria Falls, finally starts this week.
Prosecutors have set 21 July as the date for trial commencement, with six witnesses who are all neighbours set to testify on how Constables Emmanuel Anesu Bhuzhiwa and Givemore Makotose got drunk while on duty and in police uniform and started beating them, leaving them for dead on April 3.
The country had imposed total lockdown which among other things, led to the closure of all bars, churches and a ban on other public gatherings to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
The policemen were drinking at a local bar in Mkhosana suburb which had continued selling beer despite the lockdown order.
The witnesses are Munyaradzi Sako, a former footballer aged 29, who was hospitalised for a week following the assault, his young brother Blessing, and mother Beatrice who were all beaten at their house in Mkhosana.
The other witnesses; are Fortunate Sibanda, Ishmael Sibanda, and Brighton Tshuma.
Prosecutors have alleged that when the rowdy junior police were committing the abuses, some residents ran for dear lives thinking the assaults had been sanctioned by their superiors to enforce the national lockdown.
Residents later mobilised and alerted their (police) superiors.
The violent police officers disappeared from the scene and were arrested a few days later after an identification parade.
The other two policemen will appear in court separately.