MWENEZI – A 36-year-old road user who was angered by the endless roadblocks and labelled police officers thieves before disappearing with a pair of handcuffs was last week convicted on the disorderly conduct charge but was found not guilty of escaping lawful custody.
Magistrate Honest Musiiwa sentenced Farirepi Nhongoviro of Mutoredzanwa village under Chief Nemauzhe in Chivi, to 15 days in prison or alternatively to pay a US$50 fine.
Nhongoviro had however pleaded not guilty to both charges during trial.
In acquitting Nhongoviro on the charge of escaping from lawful custody, Musiiwa pointed out that since Nhongoviro was found a few metres on his way to Mwenezi police station, he had not intended to escape but to hand himself in.
This was after the police had arrested, handcuffed and kept him there as a way of punishing him for his outspokenness.
The incident happened on May 13 at the 166 km peg along Masvingo – Beitbridge highway when Nhongoviro asked many questions to police officers who had stopped the car in which he was travelling.
On the charge of disorderly conduct, the magistrate said there was overwhelming evidence that Nhongoviro committed the offence.
Giving evidence in court earlier on, Brian Siyabonga, one of the police officer who was at the roadblock on the day in question, said Nhongoviro had scolded him and called the police officers perpetual thieves.
He alleged that Nhongoviro had wanted to cause a scene by threatening to throw himself in front of moving vehicles.
It was heard that Nhovoringo engaged in riotous conduct, running around the roadblock shouting at police officers and disturbing the free movement of vehicles.
After being arrested, the handcuffed Nhongoviro ran away and disappeared into the darkness but was later found on his way to Mwenezi police station where he was arrested again.
Willard Chasi prosecuted.local