By Livingstone Mtetwa
CHIPINGE- There was a rare sight in Chipinge on Monday as two soldiers assaulted a member of their sister service who was part of a team that was on duty enforcing the Covid-19 national lockdown restrictions.
The Court has heard that, 30-year-old Milicent Ndebvu and 36-year-old Mike Nyabote who are soldiers stationed at 3.3 Infantry Reserve Battalion reportedly assaulted Steven Chananda a police officer stationed at ZRP Chipinge Urban after a team he was leading stopped the soldier’s merry-making activities.
The rogue soldiers were later apprehended and charged with two counts of assaulting a police officer and violating Section 11 of Statutory Instrument 83/20 of obstructing a law enforcement officer from performing his duties during national lockdown.
Ndebvu and Nyabote pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded in custody to Saturday for bail ruling.
Chipinge Magistrate, Elizabeth Hanzi presided over the case.
Prosecutor, Gift Bikita told the court that on the 9th of January at around 7 pm, Officer Chananda was on patrol at Medium Density Shopping Centre together with officers Kudzai Mutikizizi, Tarisai Muchemwa, Mercy Jumburu and Rejoice Gwanyanya enforcing the national lockdown restrictions.
Chananda and his team noticed a group of people that was braaing, drinking beer and dancing to music which was being played at high volume at Climax Studio.
The police officers approached the studio in an endeavour to disperse the crowd as well as arrest the perpetrators.
The two soldiers were among the revellers who were partying and they challenged the police officers to release the disc jockey (D.J) they had arrested, said Bikita.
Nyabote and Ndebvu allegedly took turns to assault the complainant before a high ranking army officer ordered them to return to the barracks.
Nyabote is said to have hit Chananda with stones on the shoulder and stomach while Ndebvu bashed him with a plastic chair.
He also grabbed the complainant’s umbrella and struck him with it all over the body, ordering the complainant to release the D.J he had handcuffed.
The accused persons were ordered to go back to their barrack by a lieutenant who had arrived at the scene.
The complainant sustained injuries all over the body and had to seek medical attention, the prosecutor told the court.