A Gwanda-based policeman has been arrested after he allegedly ordered a suspect to pay him $50 in exchange for his freedom.

Constable Augustine Rugede (33) who is stationed at the Gwanda Urban Police Station ordered Mr Moses Madeya who was being accused of stealing gold ore to pay him the money if he wanted to be freed.

Rugede is expected to appear at the Gwanda magistrate courts facing a charge of extortion on a date yet to be advised.

According to State facts, Rugede committed the offence on 3 July.

“On 2 July around 9am, Rugede was allocated a case of theft where Mr Moses Madeya was being accused of stealing gold ore. Rugede arrested him on the same day and Mr Madeya was detained in police cells.

“He was released the following day to appear in court and the State declined to prosecute the matter as more investigations had to be carried out. After court, Rugede told Mr Madeya that he would take him back to the police station for further detention unless he paid $50 for his release. Rugede added that if Mr Madeya paid the money he would be able to attend court sessions while coming from home,” read the court papers.

The State papers further indicate that Mr Madeya fearing for his health if he was taken back to the cells, then contacted his family to bring the money.

He paid the money to Rugede who then released him but he was not issued with a receipt.

The matter was reported to the police resulting in Rugede’s arrest.

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