By Tarisai Machakaire
Two cops who pounced on a Zambian in a local hotel and confiscated his $31 000 after threatening him with a lengthy prison term appeared in court.
Evidence Hanya, 31, and Walter Ziuchi, 26, of Mineral and Border Control Unit (MBCU), ordered the complainant Voster Hampako to catch the next bus back to Zambia.
They only gave him a few Kwachas for his journey, a Harare court heard yesterday.
Hanya and Ziuchi were remanded in custody to Saturday pending finalisation of their bail application.
They are being charged with criminal abuse of office.
Prosecutor Audrey Chogumaira alleged that on April 2 around 10pm this year, the duo went to N1 Hotel in Harare in the company of their accomplice Clever Gadzikwa, who is still at large, and demanded to see Voster Hompako — a Zambian national who was booked in room 427.
The court heard that Hanya and Ziuchi forced their way to Hampako’s room and defied the hotel’s regulations while Gadzikwa remained in the car park.
It was alleged that they began searching Hampako and seized $700, $300 in bond notes and 400 Zambian Kwacha.
Hanya then recorded in his notebook that they had only recovered $770 from Hampako before forcing him to sign for the amount.
The duo advised Hampako to declare any other goods that he had.
He told the cops that he had $30 000 stashed in his car at the hotel’s car park.
Hampako was forced to check out of the hotel and made to drive to MBCU Harare offices where Hanya and Ziuchi would search the car.
However, no search was done.
Hanya and Ziuchi allegedly forced Hampako to take out the $30 000 which was packed in plastic bags.
They allegedly forced him to surrender it to them after which they verified that it was actually $31 000.
They began threatening Hampako with a long jail term for money laundering and made him to sign a dubious warned and cautioned statement for fraud.
Hanya and Ziuchi photocopied Hampako’s identification particulars and gave him back his kwachas before ordering him to catch the first bus the following morning and return to Zambia.
The duo did not record anything in their police record books in a bid to conceal the offence from their superiors, the court heard.
On April 7, the accused persons made a report against the cops at Police General Headquarters. Daily News