19 ROGUE SOLDIERS, POLICE OFFICERS CAUGHT IN $5 BRIBE FURORE
POLICE in Chipinge have arrested eight rogue police officers and 11 soldiers for allegedly demanding a $5 bribe from a traveller at a joint roadblock under Operation Restore Legacy.
This was confirmed in an internal police memorandum, numbered 284/17 and dated December 9, 2017, shown to Southern Eye yesterday. The cops were identified as Assistant Inspector Noel Marima (34), constables Tinashe Leonard Chigodho, Mercy Jumburu (33), Trust Donga (32), George Dliwayo (29), Clemence Manuere, (23) Moreblessings Sibanda (30), Peter Tevera (32), all from Chipinge Police Station.
The 11 soldiers, all from 3.3 Reserve Force Battalion in Chipinge, were identified as sergeants Brighton Benhura (34) and Donald Fungai Musapatike (34), corporals Richard Tauya (28), Proud Madzivanyika (28), Collen Tawanda (26), Johanne Chindova (28), Edward Tapiwa Bonde (31) and Tichaona Chimonero (34), lance corporals Briefin Zimunya (29), Stanely Mudimba (30) and Remember Masukume (26).
According to the memo from Officer Commanding Chipinge Police District to the Officer Commanding Manicaland Province, the 19 law enforcement agents were being charged with criminal abuse of office.
“This memorandum serves to put on record circumstances surrounding the arrest of 19 accused persons for criminal abuse of duty as public officials as defined in Section 174 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, Chapter 9:23 which occurred at 60km peg along Birchenough Bridge-Mount Selinda Road, Chipinge on December 9, 2017 between 6am and 2pm,” part of the memo read.
The 19 allegedly demanded $5 from one John Mahoya from Ndima village under Chief Ndima in Rusitu Valley.
It is alleged they acted in common purpose when they made the demand from Mahoya, who was a passenger in a commuter omnibus.
Unhappy with that development, Mahoya reported the matter immediately after the incident, resulting in the arrest of the accused.
Mahoya last night confirmed the incident and said he spent the day at Chipinge Police Station where the matter is being handled.
“I am coming from the police right now. There was that incident at a roadblock and I have been going to the police,” he told the Newsday.
A docket RRB3127194 was opened at Chipinge Urban Police Station and police are expected to carry out an identification parade as part of the investigations. This came amid reports of harassment of members of the public particularly vendors by police and soldiers on joint patrols in some parts of the country.