Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Judgment in a case where two police officers stationed at Beitbridge Border Post are accused of making a duplicate receipt book which they used to collect fines from undocumented migrants has been set for August 8. Tendai Machanzi and Define Ndere ran out of luck when their supervisor picked the anomaly during routine checks. They had already collected fines amounting to R6 200 using the counterfeit receipt book. Illegal migrants who enter the country through the ports of entry are fined $10 or R100 for entry by evasion under the provisions of the Immigration Act.
Through their lawyer, Patrick Tererari of Tererai Legal Practice, the duo denied the allegations when they appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Miss Gloria Takundwa.
They were remanded out of custody on $100 bail each.
Prosecuting, Mr Jabulani Mberesi told the court that both the accused persons are deployed at the police post within the border.
He said on March 29, they commenced duty at around 11pm where Machanzi was the officer-in-charge and he received nine Z69 (J) police receipt books during hand over and takeover of office from the previous shift leader.
The accused persons were working at the police post where, among their duties, receipting of deposit fines from offenders was included.
Mr Mberesi said at around five minutes to midnight, Assistant Inspector Hilary Sibanda and Chief Inspector Godwin Mutanga arrived at the police post on an anti-corruption spot check.
The court further heard that Sibanda noticed that Ndere was using two Z69 (J) books to receipt deposit fines prompting him to enquire. Ndere then indicated that she had been given both books by Machanzi who was the officer-in-charge. Sibanda then checked both books and discovered that they had serial numbers 103-115 with receipt serial numbers ranging from 0690201 to 0690250 and that Ndere had receipted R6 200 from serial numbers 0690201 to 0690231.
On the other receipt book Ndere had receipted R10 000 and the book was filled up. Further checks revealed that Machanzi had witnessed all the receipts and that the same book was completed on all portions except on the names of the persons only.
Sibanda then called Mutanga and more investigations were carried out.
Machanzi was requested to produce all the receipt books he had received from the previous shift. And, instead of nine, the accused brought in 10 books. The duo was in turn arrested and both the original and counterfeit books were recovered along with the R6 200. The State suffered a prejudice of R3 800 in revenue.