Ex-cop is jailed for impersonation

BULAWAYO - An ex-cop who was recently relieved of his duties in the force is in trouble after he was arrested while drinking beer at a bottle store while in a police uniform.

As if that was not enough, the accused Mark Ndlovu, 32, of Gwatemba in Filabusi introduced himself as assistant inspector in the police force yet at the time of his expulsion he held a constable rank.

This came out when Ndlovu appeared before Esigodini senior resident magistrate Tawanda Muchemwa this week facing impersonation charges.

Although he pleaded not guilty to the charges, he could not escape jail as he was slapped with 18 months’ imprisonment of which four months were suspended on condition of good behaviour.

He will, however, serve the remaining 14 months effectively.

In his ruling Muchemwa said the accused deserved some time behind  bars as his action was against the new political dispensation’s efforts to restore sanity in the police force, whose image had been in tatters under former president Robert Mugabe.

“The offence was committed in aggravating circumstances that is in terms of section 179(1)(a) given that the accused person impersonated a police officer. Cases of ex-police members deliberately deterring themselves from surrendering their uniforms after service are on the rise,” he said.

“Accused’s conduct on its own brought the police which is currently reviving its good reputation into disrepute.

“This new political dispensation is trying by all means necessary to instil confidence in the police force given the sour relations that used to exist between the previous police administration and Zimbabweans as a whole, but that is when you see an ex-member trying to soil, frustrate or rather tarnish the efforts that are being made,” ruled Muchemwa.

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