$3 bribe lands cop in the dock

gavel2Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
A police sergeant stationed at Chitungwiza District Headquarters allegedly solicited a $3 bribe from the driver of a commuter omnibus he had arrested for carrying excess passengers.

The kombi crew was said to have been arrested by one Constable Gakanje, who then referred them to Sgt Farai Kuyeza (39), who was their leader.

Cst Gakanje confiscated the commuter omnibus’ permit and insisted that the conductor, Wellington Bumhira, pay a $5 deposit fine. He then passed over the permit to Kuyeza who in turn demanded $3 for him to release the permit.

Kuyeza is being charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.

Kuyeza, who is on bail, appeared before magistrate Ms Victoria Mashamba yesterday for trial.Through his lawyer, Mr Tawanda Takaendesa, Kuyeza denied the charges. The matter was remanded to today for trial continuation.

Prosecuting, Ms Shambadzeni Fungura alleged that on January 13 Kuyeza was leading a team of police officers who were manning a roadblock along Seke Road. Cst Gakanje then stopped a commuter omnibus and arrested the driver for having an excess passenger on board.

The court heard that Cst Gakanje confiscated the commuter omnibus’ permit and insisted that the conductor pay a $5 deposit fine. He then gave Kuyeza the permit who in turn demanded $3 from the crew in order for him to release the permit.

The kombi crew did not have the money and drove away leaving the permit. The following day the crew proceeded to Police Internal Investigations Unit and reported the matter, and a trap was set.

The court heard that on January 14 the kombi crew returned in the company of Cst Machona from Internal Investigations Unit and demanded their vehicle permit.

They were referred to Kuyeza who insisted on the $3 bribe and was handed the trap money leading to his arrest.

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    Well. done. People must continue with with such traps. Even if one has an genuine traffic offence it is sometimes better to pay US$10 or US$20 that at least goes to the police department coffers or treasury than US$5 directly to the pockets of these extortionists to buy their goodies at your expense. Where possible, and if it is not much of an inconvenience, sacrificing a bit of time to set these traps will go a long way in removing some bad apples from the system.