By Richard Muponde
A police officer stationed at the Plumtree Border Post has been arrested for allegedly stealing more than $5 000 collected as fines at the country’s entry point.This was revealed yesterday when Aaron Chamunorwa (28) of 23165 Pumula South in Bulawayo appeared before Plumtree magistrate, Mr Joshua Mawere.
Chamunorwa pleaded not guilty to a charge of theft and was remanded out of custody on $100 bail.
The trial continues on February 27.
In his defence outline tendered to the court by his lawyers Tanaka Law Chambers, Chamunorwa said he did not commit the offence but was a victim of abuse of power from his superiors.
“Accused will vehemently deny having converted any monies to his own use and state that Assistant Inspector S Zinhumwe would take the money and sign the charge sheets. Accused person will lead evidence to prove that he didn’t convert any monies to his own use, but is a mere victim of abuse of power from his superiors. Accused is innocent of all charges being levelled against him,” he submitted.
“The allegations are denied in toto (as a whole). The State is put to strictest proof of its case beyond any reasonable doubt. Wherefore the accused prays for acquittal.”Two witnesses, who are Chamunorwa’s, have led evidence.
Plumtree Prosecutor in Charge, Mr Stanley Chinyang’anya, told the court that Chamunorwa was based at Plumtree Border Post doing administrative duties.
Part of his duties were to recover and reconcile admission of guilt fines from his workmates and then bank them at the Plumtree Magistrate Court’s Clerk of Court office or the Bulilima-Mangwe District finance office.
In July last year on Z69J book number 10/17, Chamunorwa received $1 000 for admission of guilt fines for 49 people who had paid for various crimes.
However, instead of banking the money he allegedly converted it to his own use.
In the same month, he allegedly received another $1 000 for fines and also converted the money to his own use.
The court heard that using the same method, Chamunorwa allegedly stole fines up to November last year bringing the combined total to over $5 000.
His shenanigans were later discovered by his bosses, leading to his arrest but nothing was recovered. The Chronicle