MUTARE – Three detectives stationed at Mutare Central Police Station were this week arrested on allegations of demanding a $30 bribe from cross-border traders who had smuggled secondhand clothes into the country from Mozambique.
The arrest of the three comes barely a week after two female traffic police officers were nabbed in the city for allegedly receiving a $5 bribe from a kombi driver with a defective vehicle.
Officer Commanding Manicaland Police (Operations), Assistant Commissioner David Mahoya, confirmed the arrest of the three detectives on Wednesday. He said they were set to appear in court soon on bribery charges.
“As I have told you before, we are leaving no stone unturned in our quest to fight corruption within the police force. Members of the public must come forth and report offenders because these crimes are being committed in their midst.
Yes, the three detectives namely Sergeant Mutasa, Constables Ndemera and Mahori were arrested on bribery allegations. Criminal dockets have been processed and they will appear at the criminal courts soon after which we shall conduct our own internal disciplinary hearings,” he said.
Asst Comm Mahoya, who is also the chairman of the force’s anti-corruption committee in Manicaland, said the three demanded the bribe from two cross-border traders on September 30.
“Allegations are that at around 5.30pm on the said date, the three who were driving a silver car went to the National Railways of Zimbabwe Mutare Park Station following a white car from Forbes Border Post. Upon arrival, they parked their vehicle and called on the two ladies who were busy offloading their bags from the vehicle.
“They were given $30 as bribe. Later the ladies were approached by NZR security officers who questioned them what had transpired.
“The women told the security officers that they had given them $30 as bribe. They said they did so because the three had threatened to arrest them saying they were police officers. The three detectives then followed another vehicle to the same place with the intention of repeating their modus operandi.
At this point, the NRZ officers approached them and told them that the ladies were complaining of the $30 they had taken from them. The detectives produced a $50 note and told the ladies to take their $30 back which they did. Later the matter was reported to the police resulting in the arrest of the three,” he said.
In last week’s case the two traffic cops were caught by a senior police officer onboard the commuter omnibus from which they demanded the bribe. The suspects, Assistant Inspector Mugomba and Sergeant Chitapa, were part of a team manning the Mutare Greenmarket traffic enforcement point when the incident happened.