Cops arrested for firing teargas into loaded bus

Main Story Zimbabwe

Lloyd Ndemo

Seven Zimbabwean police officers are facing criminal charges for firing teargas into a loaded bus in the capital, Harare, on Monday.

The incident occurred outside the Harare Exhibition Park, and a video of passengers scampering has been circulating on social media.

It is understood the officers were trying to stop the bus crew from picking more passengers from an undesignated point.

No injuries were reported.

The Information Ministry tweeted: “Government has been made aware of an incident at Harare Showgrounds where a team of 7 officers have been arrested for deploying tear smoke in an occupied bus.

“They will face charges. The crew of the bus has also been arrested as the bus in question was being driven by a tout.”

Zimbabwe Republic Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi told ZTN: “We have arrested those police officers and they will face the full process of the law. We have also arrested the bus crew because the driver had handed over the bus to the conductor or tout to drive.

“They were driving up and down, acting as if the bus was about to leave for Bulawayo when in actual fact they were just trying to attract passengers.

“So when police officers moved in, they did not stop. They were blocked in front and at the back. We do not condone acts of misconduct by the police officers who threw the teargas into the bus.”

He continued: “We assuring the public that we have taken action against the officers. The law is very clear: There are situations where officers can use tear smoke. And there are others where they are not supposed to; like the one which occurred (on Monday). We have taken action and I mean it when I say we have taken action.”