Friday, 25 August 2017

THIS IS ROBBERY : JUDGE BLASTS COPS

High Court judge Justice Charles Hungwe has ordered the immediate release of a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) informer, who was on Wednesday violently arrested at court, likening the conduct of the arresting details to that of robbers.

Delish Nguwaya, who had come to the Harare Magistrates’ Court for trial on allegations of possession of cocaine and extortion, was reportedly snatched from the courtroom by Detective Inspector Joseph Nemaisa and others, before being dragged down a flight of stairs while handcuffed.

When the magistrate entered the courtroom for the trial, he was dismayed by the behaviour of the detectives. He ordered Nguwaya to be presented before him within 30 minutes, but to no avail.

The magistrate had no option, but remove Nguwaya from remand in absentia. After being snatched from the courtroom, Nguwaya was bundled at the back of an unmarked black Isuzu truck, which immediately sped off.

Nguwaya’s lawyers Venturas and Samukange Legal Practitioners unsuccessfully tried to save their client, before lodging an urgent application at the High Court around midnight on Wednesday.

After watching horror video clips showing police brutality and the degrading and inhumane conditions that Nguwaya was subjected to, Justice Hungwe, who was visibly disturbed, found the arrest to be unlawful.

“What offence did the applicant (Nguwaya) commit warranting such kind of treatment?” he said. “You talked of undermining the police, in what manner did he commit the offence? His lawyers were present, the police could have simply asked Mr Samukange to bring him to the police station after court.
“The conduct is not expected of police officers. What I have seen on the video is not an arrest at all. In fact, it is robbery.”

While watching the video clip, Mr Augustine Borerwe of Venturas and Samukange identified Insp Nemaisa dragging Nguwaya down the stairs from the third floor to the ground floor of Rotten Row Building.

Part of the crowd watching the drama could be heard imploring the police to set Nguwaya free.

The video also shows Mr Borerwe unsuccessfully trying to negotiate with Insp Nemaisa.
All the while, Nguwaya was screaming in agony while being dragged by the police details.
In a certificate of urgency signed by Advocate Tazorora Musarurwa, the lawyers described the police’s conduct as unconstitutional.

“The conduct of the police and others, who accompanied the third respondent (Insp Nemaisa) cannot be justified in a democratic society,” said Adv Musarurwa. “Arresting an accused person, who is in court and being tried, is a serious contempt of the court and shows total disrespect of the judicial system.

“If the police are allowed to go to court and disrupt proceedings for some unknown alleged charges, then there will be total breakdown of law and order in this country. It will also be a total breakdown of the judicial process in this country.” herald

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