Senior Court Reporter
FORMER officer Commanding CID Vehicle Theft Squad (VTS) at Southerton Police Station in Harare, Chief Superintendent Kirispen Mutsengi, has been ordered to perform 315 hours of community service after being found guilty of crashing a Mazda BT50 truck, which was being held as exhibit in a criminal case.
He drove it without permission.
The car he crashed had been impounded while being smuggled into the country through Nyamapanda Border Post in 2020.
Harare regional magistrate Mrs Learnmore Mapiye had initially sentenced Mutsengi to 15 months in prison before conditionally setting aside six months.
The remaining nine months were wholly suspended on condition that Mutsengi performs 315 hours of community service.
Prosecutor Mr Oscar Madhume established that on March 21 last year, the Police Service Commission received a report on the abuse of recovered motor vehicles held as exhibits at CID Vehicle Theft Squad, Southerton.
Mutsengi was driving one of the cars.
On June 7, 2021, the Commission launched an investigation into the reports which led to the recovery of the Mazda BT50 at a private garage at the corner of Main and Soutter roads, New Ardbennie, Harare where it was being repaired. Further investigations revealed that on January 14, 2020, detectives at CID Vehicle Theft Squad, Southerton recovered the car at Nyamapanda Border Post after it was suspected to have been stolen from a Mozambican national, who was crossing into Zimbabwe.
Police also established through Interpol that the vehicle belonged to a South African national, Domian-Lee Kockolt, who was robbed at gun point in Durban, South Africa.
Upon impounding the car, police detectives took it to CID Vehicle Theft Squad, Southerton where it was secured under exhibit number 11/20 and enquiry report number 04/20.
Police established that Mutsengi was involved in an accident on February 14, 2020 at around 5:30am at corner Glenara and Samora Machel Avenue, Harare leaving the vehicle extensively damaged.
Police then attended the accident leading to further investigations that resulted in Mutsengi’s arrest.