The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) is yet to place criminal charges on seven of its members that were arrested on Monday for throwing a teargas canister onto a bus packed with passengers, 263Chat has learnt.
Addressing the media this afternoon, ZRP Commissioner General Godwin Matanga did not disclose information on whether the officers are still in the cells or not but indicated that no official charge has been placed against them yet, almost five days after they were arrested.
“We are going to charge them under the police act and what is going to happen is that the officers who are carrying out the investigations are the ones who are going to pick the appropriate charge from the Police Act and definitely charge them. But as far as I’m concerned right now i can surely say they performed their duty improperly. So don’t worry everything is being handled properly,” said Matanga.
Matanga declined to reveal the names of the seven accused officers and declared that he will soon assign Senior Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyati to disclose the information to the media.
The revelation has cast doubt over the force’s sincerity to bring the offenders to justice.
Commenting on the matter, ZimRights executive Director Dr Musa Kika said it is not surprising for the police to sweep the case under the carpet because they are just protecting their own.
“We were expecting this, and the news of arresting them was just done to silence the masses who were condemning the act,’ said Kika.
He also said the way forward is to come together as a nation and demand justice for those who were affected.
“We need to go to the police and demand the dockets, names and the status of the case so and we want to expose the lies,” he added.
The incident sparked public anger after videos showing passengers jumping out of the bus through the windows went viral on social media on Monday.
The video showed teargas billowing from the windows of the yellow Rimbi Tours bus, as desperate passengers crawled out of windows and dropped down onto the tarmac.
It’s understood a number of passengers were injured.