By Staff Reporter
A Chiredzi man who was August this year arrested for allegedly scolding some police officers for being corrupt walked free Wednesday after a local magistrate’s court found him not guilty of the accusations.
Zephania Virimai (32) was charged with undermining police authority.
Prosecutors said Virimai insulted two police officers, namely Lazarus Nyahonzo and Slyna Nyamaropa, by referring to them as thieves.
He had met the cops inside a local banking hall.
Virimai, it is alleged, was offended by the cops’ reluctance to join the queue to which he remarked, “mbavha idzo ngadzibvepo (these thieves move away from there).
Virimai (right) pictured with his lawyer Blessing Nyamayaro
After realising the two were unmoved by the alleged insult, Virimai reportedly intensified the verbal attacks by saying “Zvimapurisa zvinobhenga mari yecorruption (rogue police officers banking corruption money)”.
Prosecutors had charged that Virimai’s conduct exposed the law enforcers to “to contempt, ridicule or low esteem”.
But in acquitting him of the charge, presiding magistrate Tafadzwa Mhlanga said the state had failed during trial to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt.
He also ruled that the evidence of the State witnesses who testified during the trial was inconsistent and therefore he could not rely on it to convict Virimai, who was represented during trial by practitioners from the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights.