Duo masquerade as police officers

HARARE - Two Harare men who allegedly masqueraded as police officers demanding bribes from unsuspecting people appeared in court charged with impersonation.

Moses Nyavanhu, 39, and Cosmas Vheremu,49, appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti yesterday.

They both denied the charges and were remanded to April 24, for trial continuation.

The complainant is Lackson Mutara, who is employed as chief executive officer of Chikomba District Council.

Prosecutor Idah Maromo alleged that on March 14, this year, Nyavanhu and Vheremu approached Mutara at his house and lied that they were police officers.

Vheremu went on to produce a police identification card number 0534695 belonging to detective sergeant Zaranyika from Criminal Investigations Department Headquarters.

They claimed to be carrying out investigations of criminal abuse of office involving misuse of council vehicle and illegal allocation of stands.

The duo then forced Mutara to enter their vehicle and drove to Harare on the pretence that they were taking him to CID headquarters.

The court heard that along the way, one of the accused persons demanded $6 000 from Mutara as inducement to suspend investigations and avoid having the matter being published in the press.

Mutara was not convinced that Nyavanhu and Vheremu were police officers and told them that his money was in his CBZ account.

The accused persons drove Mutara to CBZ Southerton branch and ordered him to withdraw the agreed amount.

Vheremu then confiscated Mutara’s Nokia cellphone and remained in the car while the complainant proceeded to the banking hall alone.

When Mutara got into the bank he advised the management of the matter before police were alerted.

Detectives who received the tip then proceeded to CBZ Southerton branch and found Mutara waiting in the manager’s office.

Vheremu and Nyavanhu became suspicious after Mutara took long to return and sped from the scene.

The court heard that police officers gave chase and managed to arrest the accused persons along Simon Mazorodze Road.

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chastuchus - 15 April 2016

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