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A PIRATE taxi driver who sped from a roadblock after hitting a traffic police officer and was arrested following a 31km high speed chase has been jailed for 10 years.
Elisha Chidhimiri, 26, of Mucheke Suburb in Masvingo, was asked to produce his driver’s licence at the 222 km peg along the Harare-Masvingo highway, but sped-off, hitting a cop in the process.
The cop somehow managed to jump onto the vehicle’s bonnet where he clung for five metres, before falling off and suffering some injuries.
Police gave chase, only to apprehend Chidhimiri in Mvuma some 31 km away.
Chidhimiri was yesterday jailed 10 years by Gweru Regional Magistrate Morgan Nemadire for attempted murder.
He had pleaded guilty.
Chidhimiri will, however, serve an effective eight years in jail after two years were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
In passing sentence, Nemadire said Chidhimiri had disrespected a lawful police order and therefore deserved to be punished severely.
He said a deterrent sentence would send a message to would be offenders who disrespect the police performing their lawful duties.
“You disrespected the police officers at a roadblock. You were supposed to stop and negotiate with them but you decided to run over a police officer.
You were ordered to stop but you refused until they followed you up to Mvuma and therefore you deserve to be given a very long custodial sentence so that other drivers will learn a lesson from you,” said Nemadire.
“You’re sentenced to 10 years in prison of which two years of your sentence are suspended on condition of good behaviour.”
Prosecuting, Andrew Marimo said on March 25 this year at around 4PM, four traffic police traffic officers were deployed at the 222 km peg along the Harare to Masvingo road for road block duties.
“Chidhimiri arrived driving a Toyota Granvia registration number ADP9512 at the check point fully loaded with passengers,” said Marimo.
He said Chidhimiri was stopped by one of the police officers who then asked him to produce his driver’s licence.
The court heard that Chidhimiri only flashed the licence and refused to hand it over to the cop.
Marimo said another officer was standing in front of the commuter omnibus.
“Chidhimiri drove his vehicle towards the police officer who was standing in front of the vehicle, hit him and dragged him for about five metres while he was hanging on the bonnet of the vehicle.
“The police officer landed on the tarmac and was injured in the process,” said Marimo. He said Chidhimiri did not stop and sped away before he was caught in Mvuma, some 31 km away from the scene.Patience Mutsiwi, source-chronicle