Police officer aids couple’s escape from quarantine centre

By Nokuthaba Dlamini

A police officer stationed at Encore Budget hotel quarantine facility in Victoria Falls allegedly assisted a Harare couple to escape from the centre on Sunday morning.

Department of Social Development officer Macnon Chirinzepi confirmed to CITE the development, adding that they have since launched an investigation into the matter.

“This couple arrived at our facility on Saturday night around 10PM and were assisted by the police officer (name withheld) to escape the following day at around 7AM,” said Chirinzepi.

“The couple was coming from Zambia and are based in Harare, so we gather that he (police officer) solicited a bribe from them in order assist them to escape and dodge the Covid-19 processes which also include testing during the quarantine period.

“The other police officers who are assisting us with security put him under surveillance and when it was confirmed that they had vanished they took the police officer for thorough questioning and he opened up about the couple’s whereabouts and were tracked and brought back shortly after 3PM.”

Chirinzepi said the three were going to be taken to court once their Covid-19 results are out.

“Covid-19 tests are now done locally at our main hospital (Victoria Falls) so we wonder why people could connive to do such when we are trying to contain the spread of the pandemic so they are being tested now and they will be administered with their results in the next coming day or two,”Chirinzepi said.

“Once their results are out they shall be taken to court to answer to those charges and even the said police officer is in trouble and will also be tried.”

The couple’s escape is thr fourth since the centre’s inception.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Chief Inspector Siphiwe Makonese said she was not in office when sought for a comment.

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