BATTLE of the bosses!
HIGHLANDERS assistant coach Amini Soma Phiri was dragged to the Bulawayo Central Police Station last week Thursday for allegedly refusing to reverse his vehicle and make way for a top police officer at a city centre parking lot.
The scramble for parking space, according to the Highlanders coach, started when he attempted to park his vehicle at a parking bay next to the Unity Village Flea Market on Thursday around 9pm.
The officer identified as Chief Superintendent Alberito Mashingaidze allegedly ordered the coach to reverse and make way for the top cop to park his vehicle, a Ford Ranger.
According to Phiri when he refused to take the ‘order’ Mashingaidze disembarked from his vehicle and threatened the coach with assault.
“I told him I would not reverse my car because I had parked first and that he should find an alternative parking bay.
We started arguing and he threatened to beat me up,” said Phiri.
The top police officer then ordered two constables to arrest Phiri.
But a sizeable crowd that had witnessed the whole incident from the beginning would have none of it.
The Bosso coach said when he realised that members of the public were baying for the blood of the two officers, he pleaded for calm and volunteered to go the police station.
“I feared for the female constable who was already being manhandled by members of the public for attempting to arrest me and I decided it was in everyone’s best interest if I go with the officers to the station,” he said.
At the Bulawayo Central Police Station the coach was told to leave his details and advised to expect a call from the police. He received the call the following day summoning him back to the station.
No charges were laid.
On Monday he was again summoned to the police station. He was still not charged.
Phiri appeared to suggest that Mashingaidze was abusing his authority as a police officer.
“It was a small issue which he decided to blow out of proportion by ordering the two constables to arrest me. I did not break the law. I had every right to park my vehicle because I got there first,” he said.
When sought for comment Chief Superintendent Mashingaidze refused to elaborate on the scuffle citing protocol when dealing with the media.
“I am not going to comment. Speak to the Officer Commanding Bulawayo Province,” said Chief Supt Mashingaidze.