Bribe-swallowing cop seeks Con-Court referral

HARARE - Former Mbare officer-in-charge, Violet Sigauke — who attempted to swallow $60 bribe money — has made a Constitutional Court (Con-Court) application challenging the disciplinary proceedings instituted against her by police.

Sigauke, who is represented by Rubaya and Chatambudza Legal Practitioners, resigned from the force on February 14 following the charges.

She is arguing that she can no longer be forced into disciplinary hearings because she no longer serves the Zimbabwe Republic Police.

“I was charged with contravention of paragraph 35 of the schedule to the Police Act for acting in an unbecoming or disorderly manner prejudicial to good order or discipline or reasonably likely to bring discredit to the police service,” Sigauke said.

“I was summoned to appear before a disciplinary tribunal and my lawyer challenged the basis of proceeding against me yet I had ceased to be a member of the police service.

“It is incompetent and unconstitutional for the commissioner-general to seek to discipline a non-member.

“I am now a civilian and this is an illegitimate process which tramples upon my constitutional rights as a citizen of this country. I contend that I have a right to fair labour practices as guaranteed in section 65 (1) of the Constitution.”

It is the State’s case that sometime in January this year, Sigauke phoned Kudzai Mapako — employed by Mama Ru Commuter Ominibus company as a manager — ordering him to pay $120 for free passage of his omnibuses for two weeks within Sigauke’s policing jurisdiction.

Mapako then met Sigauke at a bank in Graniteside where he handed her $40 as part of the bribe money.

However, Sigauke then told Mapako that the amount was too little and that he should in fact pay $60 per week for the free passage of his fleet.

The State further alleges that the accused then phoned Mapako on February 8, demanding $60 bribe money.

A trap was authorised at Police General Headquarters and four intelligence officers proceeded to Mbare Police Station to execute the trap.

The State further alleged that a commuter omnibus conductor from Mama Ru Commuter Ominibus company was then instructed to take the bribe money to Sigauke at her office before detectives moved in to arrest her, forcing her to swallow the money in a bid to destroy the evidence.

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