'Bribe taking' cop dragged to court

HARARE - A cop who was busted while allegedly receiving a $15 bribe from a kombi operator in exchange for releasing an impounded commuter omnibus was dragged to court yesterday.

Weston Muzoriwa, of Besa Village in Seke, appeared before Harare magistrate Barbra Chimboza facing allegations of criminal abuse of duty.

He was released on $50 bail and ordered to continue residing at his present address and not interfere with witnesses as part of bail conditions.

The 30-year-old will be back in court on June 2.

Prosecutor Linda Gadzikwa alleged that on May 6, along Innez Terrace Street in Harare CBD, Muzoriwa was with three other cops stationed at Police General Headquarters (PGHQ) Construction Unit.

Muzoriwa and his accomplices — who are on the run — were wearing plain clothes and approached Raphael Kavande, 36, a driver of a commuter omnibus.

The court heard that Kavande parked his commuter omnibus at Total Service Station along Julius Nyerere Way and was immediately arrested for dropping off passengers at an undesignated point.

It was alleged that Muzoriwa ordered Kavande to drive to Harare Central Police Station (HCPS), but was instructed to park along Innez Terrace Street while on the way.

Muzoriwa allegedly advised Kavande that his vehicle was going to be sent for inspection at Vehicle Inspection Department and demanded $20 bribe to facilitate its release.

Kavande told Muzoriwa that he did not have the money at that time and pleaded for time to look for it. However, he allegedly proceeded to PGHQ Internal Investigations and made a report against Muzoriwa.

The court heard that a trap was organised and a team of detectives was authorised to accompany Kavande and witness the handover of the money.

It was alleged that when they returned to HCPS, Kavande surrendered the money, which was in $5 and $2 denominations to the accused person, who is at large, before it was passed down to Muzoriwa.

The trap team busted Muzoriwa and recovered the $15 bribe from his left hand before arresting him at the scene.

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