Fungai Lupande Court Reporter
A member of the Police Protection Unit (PPU) who was arrested for mounting a fake roadblock and extorting $142 from an unsuspecting motorist, appeared in court yesterday charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.
Kudzanai Kwashirai (34) appeared before Harare magistrate Mr Elijah Makomo. He was remanded in custody.
Kwashirai’s alleged accomplice Tawanda Nyamutamba is on the run.
The complainant is Bernard Andries Bester (60) of Greenave Forestry Estate in Norton. The prosecutor, Mr Peter Kachirika, alleged that on Tuesday, Bester was driving a Mazda BT50 registration number ABH 6596.
He was stopped by a Toyota Mark II registration number ABA 1106 with two uniformed police officers. Kwashirai advised Bester that he was under arrest for several traffic offences and should pay $380 or his vehicle would be impounded. Bester only had $92, but Kwashirai said it was not enough and he needed to add another $50.
It is alleged that Bester gave the cops $142 and they told him that it was just a warning, as they would take him to court next time. Kwashirai and Nyamutamba took the money but did not issue Bester with a copy of Z69.
Bester drove towards Norton and came across other police officers who were manning a roadblock. He narrated his story and was told that he was conned.
Immediately, Bester made a U-turn and as he drove towards town, he noticed the accused’s vehicle ahead. A chase started after the ZBC licensing roadblock near Westlea along Bulawayo Road.
Bester started taking pictures of the pair’s vehicle with his mobile phone. The accused started speeding and Bester chased them and at Warren Park roundabout the police officers made a U-turn towards Norton.
At Kuwadzana roundabout they turned into High Glen Road. At the intersection of Kambuzuma and High Glen roads, Bester gave up and as he was about to stop he saw the accused’s vehicle veering off the road.