CORRUPT POLICE OFFICERS ASSAULT, ROB CASH BARON | Two Bulawayo police officers appeared in court yesterday for allegedly assaulting and stealing US$200 from a suspected foreign currency dealer on the day a law criminalising cash vending came into effect.
Prosper Problem Musvanhiri (25) and his colleague Judith Magamu (34) appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya and pleaded not guilty to assault and theft charges.
The magistrate granted them $50 bail each and set October 10 as their trial date.
Allegations are that the cops committed the crime last week on Thursday, the day Government gazetted Statutory Instrument 122A of 2017 — Exchange Control (Amendment) Regulations 2017 (No 5) — to deal with the widespread cash vending on the streets.
The law was enacted after Government realised that cash vending had become a catalytic agent to the price madness obtaining in the country.Police intensified the fight against cash vending following the enactment of the law and according to the State the two cops ended up stealing from a suspected foreign currency dealer whom they had arrested.
The duo, who were represented by Mr Liberty Mcijo of Mcijo, Dube and Partners Legal Practitioners and Mr Wish Ndongwe of Mashayamombe and Company allegedly assaulted Mr Shooter Ngwenya and stole his US$200 and $50 Bond Notes.
The State led by Mr Taurayi Hondoyemoto alleged that the two cops approached Mr Ngwenya who was near Chicken Inn along Leopold Takawira Avenue and Fort Street.
“They held him by the waist, lifted him up and threw him to the floor. They continued to press his neck with booted feet and eventually handcuffed him,” said Mr Hondoyemoto.
“While he was still in their custody they forcibly took his US$200 and $50 Bond Notes and led him to the police station.”
He said the two were arrested when Mr Ngwenya made a report against them.
Their arrest came at a time when police have introduced lifestyle audits in the force as one of the strategies to curb corruption among police officers.
National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said the Zimbabwe Republic Police has zero tolerance for corruption
Lifestyle audits involve verification of a person’s personal expenditure patterns to determine if it is consistent with an individual’s sources of income that include salary.
She said any officer found to have engaged in corruption will be dismissed from the force.