Cops in court for demanding bribe Mvuma magistrate Ms Constance Mutandwa suspended one year of the sentence on condition that the two do not commit a similar offence again.

Yeukai KarengezekaCourt Correspondent

Two police officers from Marondera who pestered a businessman they had arrested for selling fertiliser meant for Presidential inputs for bribes were brought to court yesterday and were remanded in custody pending the determination of their bail application.

Nelson Chinembiri (36) and Maxwell Mukomo (34), who are detective constables stationed at Marondera CID, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa charged with criminal abuse of office.

Prosecuting, Mr Lancelot Mutsokoti alleged that on October 24, Diana Dune, an Agritex officer in Macheke was issued with 75x50kg of Compound D fertiliser and 75x10kg of maize seed at Timbermills Grain Marketing Board in Macheke. 

The inputs from the Presidential Inputs Scheme and were meant to be distributed to farmers in ward 34 Macheke. 

Instead of taking the inputs to ward 34, Dune, with the assistance of Solomon Makaka decided to sell the fertiliser to Maxwell Takawira, who is a businessman in the area.

The court heard on November 3, the two police officers received information about the theft of the fertiliser and went to Munamba Business Centre, where they managed to recover the 75x50kg fertiliser from Takawira’s shop. 

Instead of seizing all the fertilizer, the detectives demanded that Maxwell Takawira bribe them so that they would leave him some. 

To mitigate his loss, Takawira agreed with the arrangement and he gave the two US$500. 

The cops seized only 20x50kg fertilizer, leaving behind 55x50kg, which the two instructed Takawira to move to a secure place so as to conceal evidence of it ever being there.

On November 4 and 5 the two policemen arrested Makaka and Dune and took them to Marondera Magistrates for remand. 

They misrepresented on the request for remand form that they had recovered just 20x50kg of the stolen fertiliser yet they had left 55x50kg behind. 

Later during the same week, the two cops met Takawira at N Richards Shops in Marondera and demanded more bribe money and he gave them US$100, and then they met him at Marondera Post Office and were given US$130. 

Cumulatively, they received US$730 from Takawira. 

Then on November 14, officers from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission received a tip off about what the two police officers were doing and went to Munamba Business Centre where they recovered the remaining 55 bags of fertiliser from Takawira.

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