By Shamiso Dzingire
A BULAWAYO police officer allegedly received a $3 bribe to allow three football fans entry at the $5-per-person ‘Wing’ terrace during Sunday’s epic clash between Dynamos and Highlanders at Barbourfields Stadium.
Bishop Mwembe, 29, stationed at Mzilikazi police station, allegedly chewed up two $1 notes when a colleague caught him red handed receiving the bribe.
The court heard there was a scuffle at Barbourfields Police Post when he snatched the remaining note and tried to drink it down with a bottle of water that he found at the charge office.
He managed to swallow part of the note.
Mwembe, whose rank was not given in court, yesterday appeared before Bulawayo Magistrate, Charity Maphosa, facing a charge of criminal abuse of office.
He pleaded not guilty and the magistrate remanded him out of custody to July 30 for trial.
Prosecuting, Nkatazo Dlodlo said on Sunday at around 3:30PM, Mwembe was deployed at Barbourfields Stadium to monitor gates 17, 18, 19, and 20.
Dlodlo said Velokuhle Ncube observed Mwembe receiving money from three people who were entering the stadium through gate 18.
“Ncube grabbed the accused by the belt and demanded that he hands over the money which he was holding in his left hand and he refused. Mwembe then put the money in his mouth and started chewing it,” Dlodlo said.
The court heard how Mwembe dragged Ncube to the main gate where he threw the money outside the gate.
Audrey Mtali, a colleague who was on the same assignment as Mwembe, allegedly went outside the gate and picked the money before Mwembe attempted to snatch it but failed.
“Mtali handed the money to Ncube and Mwembe snatched the money when Ncube was handing it over to another police officer who had demanded it as an exhibit,” Dlodlo said.
“Mwembe chewed the money for the second time but dropped a dollar which was picked up by Ncube. He then chewed and tore into pieces the other dollar and the pieces were picked up by Mtali who handed them over to Ncube,” Dlodlo told the court.
When they got to Barbourfields Police Post, the court heard, Ncube handed the dollar to the senior officers at the charge office but Mwembe snatched the money and tried to swallow it.
Mwembe allegedly grabbed a container full of water and attempted to wash down the money. Dlodlo said the pieces of a dollar which was torn by the accused can be produced in court as an exhibit. The Chronicle