In a concerning development, five police officers from Harare have appeared in court, facing charges of criminal abuse of office for allegedly attempting to extort US$15,000 from a legal practitioner.
The officers, identified as Lawson Muchongwe, Perseverence Chisango, Weston Muzorewa, Prosper Chimbumu, and Fredrick Moyo, made their appearance before Harare Magistrate Mr Donald Ndirowei and were granted bail of US$50 each.
According to court proceedings, the accused officers claimed to have received information regarding sexual harassment allegations against the legal practitioner’s client, which they were supposedly investigating. Subsequently, they requested a meeting with the legal practitioner to discuss the alleged investigations.
In response, the legal practitioner sought the company of his lawyer and agreed to meet the accused officers at Newlands Shopping Centre in Harare. On October 11, the complainant, accompanied by his lawyer, arrived at the designated location to meet with the officers.
During the meeting, after discussions about the alleged sexual harassment case, the accused officers reportedly demanded a sum of US$15,000 in exchange for dropping the charges against the complainant.
The complainant promptly reported the incident to Harare Central Police Station on October 12, leading to an investigation by detectives from CID Homicide. The investigation revealed that there was no ongoing sexual harassment case being investigated at ZRP Harare Central or any other police station involving the complainant as the accused.
Subsequently, the accused officers were apprehended when they arrived to collect the extortion money from the complainant.