Lockdown: Bribe-seeking police officers arrested

Thirteen police officers in Bulawayo have been arrested after they allegedly extorted US$10 from a motorist, on the first day of the national lockdown.

The officers who are all stationed at Bulawayo Central Police Station were deployed to conduct District Reaction Groups duties. 

The officers are Mathias Siziba (29), Evaristo Choto (30), Sithandile Mthombeni (37), Reason Mabhena (32), Annastancia Nkomo (31) Witness Ndlovu (31), Admire Chimunda (33), Isiah Siziba (30), Felix Ndawana (28), Blessing Maranke (26), Nation Gilson (35), Shepherd Ndlovu (34) and Reubens Mangundu (31).

They were caught on camera and the clip was circulated on various social media platforms. 

They were not asked to plead to a charge of bribery or otherwise extortion when they appeared before Bulawayo provincial magistrate Tinashe Tashaya who remanded them to May 8 out of custody.

State representative Terence Chakabuda narrated to the court that the incident occured on March 10, the first day of the national lockdown, at around 8AM.

Chakabuda said the officers blocked a white Toyota Sprinter along 4th Avenue and Joshua Mqabuko Street.

“The accused persons, who were carrying out patrols, demanded a bribe of US$10 from Thulani Ndlela, the vehicle’s conductor,” said the prosecutor.

“A video of the incident was recorded by a whistle-blower using an unknown gadget and was circulated on various social media platforms. Investigations were conducted leading to the arrest of the officers.”

Meanwhile the same court heard a murder case of an unidentified man who was allegedly murdered near Amphitheater by a man from Khumalo suburb.

John Gordon Crause told the court he committed the offence in self-defence as the now deceased was attempting to rob him.

Magistrate Tashaya granted Crause a bail of ZWL$1000 and remanded him to April 20.

The court heard that Crause stabbed the unidentified man on the back left side of the rib cage, realising his conduct would result in death.

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