By Nhau Mangirazi
Two police officers in Chirundu were injured after a motorist tried to run over them while they were doing patrols to ensure that residents in the border town comply with the 21-day national lockdown to control spread of the coronavirus.
One of the police officers, identified as Constable Chimberengwa, suffered head injuries, while Constable Chinyandu was slightly injured when Andrew Matsika allegedly tried to run over them with his car.
Matsika was allegedly found loitering by the cops at an open area that he also uses as a garage and tried to evade arrest.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said they were investigating the incident that happened last Thursday.
‘‘Police are investigating an incident where the suspect tried to run over Constable Chinyandu, who suffered minor injuries, before engaging the reverse gear that saw Constable Chimberengwa suffer head injuries,” Nyathi said.
“He was later ferried to Mutenderi Mission Hospital while Chinyandu was attended at Chirundu clinic.”
Zimbabwe began a 21-day lockdown last Monday to control the spread of the coronavirus or Covid-19. The country has already recorded nine cases of the disease with one fatality.
In Chirundu, police increased their patrols to enforce the lockdown amid complaints by local residents that the law enforcement agents were using heavy-handed tactics to keep them at home.
A resident who requested to remain anonymous for fear of victimisation said the incident involving Matsika showed that people were not happy about the way police officers were conducting themselves.
“These officers were not friendly when they approached Matsika and they were beating everyone they came across during their patrols,” the resident complained. “We are not safe at all.”
Another resident who only identified himself as Godfrey claimed Matsika was reacting to ill-treatment by the cops after they found him fixing his car.
“People here are not happy at all with the conduct of the police who are enforcing the lockdown,” he said.
Videos of police officers torturing residents found wandering on the streets during the lockdown have begun to surface online amid concerns about violations of human rights.