A 27-YEAR-OLD police officer who exchanged heavy gunfire with Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri’s aides appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court yesterday charged with three counts of unlawful entry, attempted murder and malicious damage to property.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Hardlife Maukazuva was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Josephine Sande, who remanded him in custody to December 21.
Maukazuva was advised to approach the High Court for bail.
It is the State’s case that on Wednesday, around 6am, Maukazuva reported for guard duties at Chihuri’s Greystone Park residence. Maukazuva took over duty from Constables Mabaso and Gwatiringa. He also took over an AK rifle with a magazine of 30 rounds among other things.
The State alleges Maukazuva then forced open a closed window to gain entry into the house. While inside the house he allegedly stole a Samsung LED 32-inch television plasma set, HP satchel bag, Tuxan shoe polish, Kasper green ladies’ jacket, Emirates shoes, black high fashion ladies’ top, green ladies’ suit and silver coat hangers and went through the same window.
It is alleged as Maukazuva was making good his escape, he was seen by a gardener, Robson Mubaiwa, who tried to raise alarm with neighbours so that he could get assistance to apprehend the accused.
But the gardener was outpaced by Maukazuva, who hid the stolen property in a fountain in a flower bed.
Later, Mubaiwa confronted Maukazuva pertaining to the stolen property from Chihuri’s house, but he denied. It is alleged Mubaiwa insisted that Maukazuva return the goods he had stolen and he eventually admitted and led Mubaiwa to the recovery of the goods.
The State further alleges that at around 7am Constable Jekemu who was also deployed together with Maukazuva reported for duty and he tried to disarm and arrest him. But Maukazuva allegedly became violent and struck Jekemu on the back using his service AK rifle.
It is alleged Maukazuva then went inside Chihuri’s house and set it on fire burning several household goods and clothes causing extensive damage to the building.
When the house was burning Maukazuva allegedly stood guard at the veranda to ensure that no one came to put out the fire.
When Maukazuva noticed Jekemu and Mubaiwa approaching the gate, he allegedly opened fire towards them, but missed them.
Jekemu reported the matter to his superiors at Morris Depot and they swiftly came to the scene. Upon arrival of the reinforcement team, Maukazuva again opened fire towards them, but again missed.
It is alleged Maukazuva continued firing towards the team that had been sent to attend to the incident. The State alleges he also tried to commit suicide using the same rifle but only to discover that he had run out of ammunition and it was at that time that he was subdued and arrested.
Tatenda Murindagomo appeared for the State.