Woman acquitted on trumped up charges of assaulting police officer

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.