Mejury Magaya, Midlands Reporter
A 28-YEAR-OLD police officer has been sentenced to seven years in prison for shooting a suspect on the leg.
The victim, who is allegedly facing an attempted murder charge, is now disabled after his leg was amputated to save his life.
Tatenda Manyaira, who is stationed at ZRP Charandura, appeared yesterday before Gweru Regional Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing one count of attempted murder.
He was convicted despite pleading not guilty.
Mrs Msipa handed him a seven-year prison sentence before conditionally suspending one year.
The magistrate said Manyaira should not have used excessive force on a co-operating suspect.
“You shot the complainant who was unarmed and cooperating with the police. You are sentenced to seven years in prison of which one year is suspended on condition you don’t commit a similar offence in the next five years,” Mrs Msipa said.
It was the State case that on May 13 last year at about 12PM, Manyaira was on duty looking for the complainant, Aspicious Kangwara, who was a wanted person for attempted murder.
While at Chimona Milling Centre gate, the court heard that Kangwara was approached by Manyaira who was in the company of three other police officers; Givemore Chirangande, Mbongeni Lupahla, Daniel Mahoko and a member of the Neighbourhood Watch Committee, Michael Shereni.
Chirangande was armed with an FN rifle with a magazine loaded with 16 rounds.
The court heard that Manyaira and the other officers had with them five other people whom they had arrested for allegedly refusing to divulge Kangwara’s whereabouts.
The court heard that Mahoko approached Kangwara and inquired why he was quarrelling with Manyaira.
Kangwara told him that Manyaira was demanding a bribe from him.
Manyaira told the court that he then took the FN rifle from Chirangande and instructed Kangwara to raise his hands and he complied.
The court heard that Manyaira fired a shot at Kangwara, hitting him on the right leg above the knee cap.
Kangwara sustained a bullet wound resulting in his leg being amputated.
The matter was reported to the police leading to his arrest.
Mr Kelvin Guvheya appearing for the State condemned police brutality and indicated that the court should send a message to society that violence and brutality have no place in society.