Images of a gun-toting ZANU PF Member of Parliament(MP) photographed stepping on a woman’s breast as she lay on the ground have gone viral after Matobo South legislator, Soul Ncube, posted the picture to a WhatsApp group for his constituents.

In an audio message, Ncube claimed the woman was an occupant in stolen Honda Fit vehicle.

He said:

“The car is fine, community,” Ncube says in the audio. “The guy who was driving is not the one who stole it. It’s just a matter of regret we didn’t catch him, the one who was driving. He ran away.

“The one who stole the car apparently remained at Malaba and said he was going somewhere. We heard this from this woman.”

Ncube claimed the woman in the picture had tried to also flee but they caught up with her.

“She says she doesn’t know these people, she only hired a car to St Joseph’s Mission because she wants to go to South Africa. We’re now going to St Joseph’s to verify her story.”

It was unclear when the incident took place.

A lawyer who saw the picture said the MP was clearly taking the law into his own hands, and should face criminal sanction.

“There is clear evidence of two offences: assault under the criminal code, and breaches of the firearms act. I’m afraid the MP has shown himself to be an outlaw. There’s potentially another charge of false imprisonment when the woman is forcefully taken into the MP’s vehicle and driven to St Joseph’s Mission,” the lawyer said.

“He has subjugated the woman who’s lying down, and he’s pointing a firearm. Assault is committed when, by gestures or words, you threaten to harm another person intending to inspire in their mind a reasonable fear that you will harm them or that harm is imminent.

“There’s no provision in the law that allows one, even an MP, to go around brandishing a firearm. Use of a firearm would ordinarily be justifiable in self-defence situations, but here the MP is assaulting a defenceless woman who apparently has committed no offence. It’s senseless, and not in self-defence. The law would frown upon it.

“Even if she took the car, what is he trying do? He’s already punishing her, also known as taking the law into your own hands. It behoves the police to investigate this incident.”

Ncube declined to comment.