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Esigodini cops go on vehicle vandalism rampage

Police officers from Esigodini police station allegedly smashed windows and slashed tyres of five cars belonging to patrons at drinking spot at Mbalabala centre on Friday evening.

The incident occurred around 8 pm following an altercation between the police and the patrons earlier in the day.

An eye-witness, Aorta Ndlovu, who spoke to CITE said the issue started when one of the patrons went outside to relieve himself around 2pm.

“One of the patrons, Steven Sibanda, went outside to relieve himself. He decided to go behind a tree instead of using the toilet. The owner of the bar then told him that the police would arrest him since they were in the vicinity. He apologised then went and sat in his car for a while,” Ndlovu narrated.

“Sibanda later came out and came back into the bar. We continued with our drinks. Around 8PM the police came back in a bigger van and they were more in numbers. They went to the cars and started smashing the windows and slashing the tyres. We didn’t really see what they used to hit the windows.”

Ndlovu said after vandalising the property, the police officers jumped back into their van and drove off.

Sibanda claimed that he lost two cell phones he had left in his car.

Nhlalwenhle Ndlovu, the other victim said he had just arrived from Bulawayo when the incident took place. 

“I was with Lewis Nkomo who was driving the other car. We had just arrived and were getting drinks on our way home. Little did we know that both our cars would be damaged like that,” he said.

The victims are being represented by Nqobani Sithole of Ncube Attorneys.

Sithole, in an interview with CITE, condemned the conduct of the police, noting that the behavior was unbecoming of law enforcers.

“I got a call last night about police officers who vandalised about five cars. According to the pictures that were sent to me, there was very serious damage caused. I have since advised my clients to report the  to Filabusi police station since the police officers who are alleged to have committed the offense are based at Esigodini police station,” Sithole said.

“What they did is just barbaric. They are mandated to protect property but what they did is unacceptable. I have confidence in the police that they will descend on thematter officers who are responsible for this crime and they will be brought to justice soon. They should be charged with malicious damage to property.”

Matabeleland South police spokesperson Inspector Loveness Mangena said she had not yet received any report pertaining to the matter.

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