A 38-year-old man from Sojini, Mbembesi was shot on the left shoulder by a police officer last week after a fight erupted among revellers drinking at the Mbembesi Police Station’s canteen
Raymond Mkhomaza is currently admitted at United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH) where he is receiving treatment.
When CITE visited him on Friday, he was still in pain as he said the bullet was still lodged inside his body.
“The incident occurred on Sunday around 5am. We were drinking at the police canteen, we usually drink there as villagers and commotion erupted and we started fighting as patrons. The police on duty came carrying a gun and headed straight to me as I was also fighting and in that commotion he pushed me, making me turn and he shot me,” Mkhomaza alleged.
The victim said he was shot on his left shoulder and after the incident the police officer left.
“I went to the charge office to report that I have been shot. I have spent six days here and the bullet is still inside. I still have to go for an X-ray as the doctor said the bullet missed my heart, and I have a lot of air inside,” Mkhomaza said.
Contacted for a comment, Matabeleland North Provincial Police Spokesperson Inspector Glory Banda confirmed the incident but said Mkhomaza was part of a group that had been carrying “offensive weapons” and posed a threat.
“It happened in Mbembesi of course, I know the story. It’s been a while since it happened, it is not a new thing. What happened was that these guys were found in the early morning hours at Mbembesi police canteen, they were holding some knobkerries and other offensive weapons and whatever they were carrying suggested that they were up to some evil because there is a history of theft at the canteen,” said Insp. Banda.
“When they were asked what they were doing, they said ‘we are not afraid of your gun’ and started advancing towards the policeman.”
Insp. Banda said the policeman fired two warning shots but the men continued advancing towards him.
“The policeman had no option, then the other man was shot in the shoulder,” said Insp. Banda, adding that after the incident, all the men fled.
“The next morning, the man who was shot in the shoulder showed up in the police station, saying he sustained an injury and was arrested.”
Insp. Banda dismissed that Mkhomaza was drinking with other patrons.
“That was not the time to drink and drinking has nothing to do with carrying knobkerries. You don’t need a knobkerrie to drink, you only need your money. You don’t need weapons if you are about to drink, and if you are drinking it doesn’t mean you advance towards the policeman and try to attack him. That incident has nothing to do with drinking,” he said.
Insp. Banda said whenever criminals are confronted by armed police, they must not try to disarm them.