Cops on crime spree

Cops on crime spree

Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Four policemen, who allegedly committed crimes in separate incidents in the city, appeared in court yesterday charged with fraud, bribery and extortion.

Their cases were, however, recorded differently. Patrick Makina (38), who is facing extortion charges, allegedly demanded a motor vehicle and cash from a man who was in custody facing a theft charge involving $50 000 to facilitate his release.

Traffic cops, Brighton Matafari (36) and Mike Mukuna (29) were arrested at a roadblock after receiving $5 bribe from a motorist whose driver’s licence they had confiscated.

Another policeman, Henock Henock (27), is facing a fraud charge after he allegedly defrauded a Harare woman of $1 000 after she intended to have her fingerprints vetted for a police clearance.

Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that sometime in June, Makina together with his accomplice Darlington Shereni, who has already appeared in court, teamed up and exerted pressure to one Charles Phiri by ordering him to hand over his Nissan Liberty valued at $2 300 and $15 900 cash to them so that they would facilitate his release.

Phiri was facing allegations of theft of $50 000 belonging to one Christopher Madzingira. It is alleged that they threatened him with a custodial sentence if he failed to meet their demands.

Shereni was later arrested at Mabelreign Shopping Centre in Harare after a trap was set up by police officers from the anti-corruption team on June 8. Makina was arrested a few days later and was released on $50 bail by magistrate Ms Barbra Chimboza, pending trial.

Matafari and Mukuna, who are being represented by Mr Arshiel Mugiya, were also granted $50 bail each. Prosecutor Ms Yeukai Musengi, alleged that on June 6 at around 10am, Alexio Muzondo was driving a Mercedes Benz along Lyton Road when he was stopped by the pair who were manning a roadblock at the intersection of Rotten Row and Lyton Road.

Muzondo was ordered to pay $40 fine for tempering with the third plate and for having worn-out tyres. Mukuna, it is alleged, confiscated Muzondo’s driver’s licence after he told the pair that he did not have money. Muzondo was advised to run around and look for the money before he was given Mukuna’s mobile number so that he would call him after getting the money, the court heard.

It is the State’s case that Muzondo managed to get $10 and proceeded to the Police General Headquarters internal investigations where he reported the matter to Assistant Inspector Matimbe. The two $5 notes which were to be used as trap money, were photocopied and Muzondo went back to the scene with a police trap team in his vehicle.

He gave Mukuna the money and was given back $5 and Mukuna allegedly took $5. They were subsequently arrested and the trap money was reportedly recovered from Mutafari.

Henock, the court heard, approached a woman at Morris Depot and misrepresented himself to her as the member of the Criminal Investigative Department and was able to execute the required process.

The court heard that he obtained $10 from her claiming that it was payment for the service and advised her to wait. It is the State’s case that Henock pocketed the money and deceitfully cleared the fingerprints purporting that they had been duly vetted.

He later called the woman advising her to come to the gate for collection. It is further alleged that he handed her the processed fingerprints without a receipt. The offence was discovered by one Superintended Ndlovu, who asked the woman whether she had been issued with a receipt, which she had not. Investigations revealed that the fingerprints were not paid for and had not gone through the vetting process.

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