By Tarisai Machakaire
Five police officers were dragged to court last week after they allegedly solicited for bribes from illegal foreign currency dealers in order to spare them arrest.
This comes as authorities have launched a massive blitz on illegal foreign currency traders.
The five — 34-year-old Victor Ruzvidzo, Evans Tafirenyika, 41, Job Mukiwa, 32, Kenneth Ndaramo, 30, Freeman Chabvonga, 26 — appeared before Harare magistrate Josephine Sande charged with criminal abuse of duty as public officers.
They were released on $30 bail each and ordered not to interfere with investigations and witnesses, as part of bail conditions.
Ruzvidzo and his accomplices were represented by Purity Chikangaise.
They are all attached to Vehicle Theft Squad in Southerton, Harare.
The informant is Cleotilda Chamboko, who is in the business of buying and selling clothes.
Prosecutor, Linda Gadzikwa, alleged that on October 9 this year, Ruzvidzo and his accomplices were on duty and attached to operation Dzosai mari targeting illegal foreign currency dealers.
The cops approached one Abigail Siyawamwaya at corner Fourth Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue and arrested her for illegally dealing in foreign currency.
The court heard that Siyawamwaya then informed one Chamboko, who was the alleged owner of the money.
It was alleged that when Chamboko got into the Harare CBD, she found Siyawamwaya in the company of the police officers.
Chamboko reportedly began negotiating with the cops and was asked for $200 bribe to avoid having her money, which was in Siyawamwaya’s possession, seized.
The court heard that Chamboko then handed over the $200 before rushing to make a report at Harare Central Police Station.
Chamboko and some details from Harare Central Police Station(HCPS) later caught up with Ruzvidzo and Mukiwa at Ahmad House in the city.
The duo was immediately arrested after Chamboko positively identified them as the ones who had demanded the bribe earlier.
The court heard that Tafirenyika, Mukiwa and Chabvonga later handed themselves over to HCPS.
The $200 could not be recovered and according to the State, Ruzvidzo and his accomplices’ conduct was contrary to their duties as public officers. Daily News