‘Mukoma Benji’: Inside the illicit ring of ZRP officer Chivasa and his roadblock-evading association

Police officers man a road block in Warren Park. Picture by Innocent Makawa

In a recent development, a member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police has been arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office.

Benjamin Chivasa was brought before a Harare magistrate over the weekend and was granted bail in the amount of US$100.

Chivasa stands accused of allegedly establishing an illegal association aimed at sharing information with commuter omnibus crews in order to evade roadblocks. This follows the arrest of another officer, Shepherd Jaricha, on similar charges the previous week. Jaricha had formed an association called “KR Jaricha” for the same purpose and was also released on bail of US$100.

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According to the allegations, Chivasa formed an association called “Mukoma Benji” last month, specifically targeting commuter omnibus operators. The association purportedly facilitated the operation of these vehicles without the necessary documents and compliance with the Road Traffic Act and Road Motor Transportation Act. The commuter omnibuses associated with “Mukoma Benji” were reportedly operating on various routes in and around Harare, including the central business district.

The State further claims that Chivasa provided information about police traffic operations to the members of the bogus association. This was allegedly done in an effort to undermine the police’s efforts to maintain order on the roads of Harare.

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The charges against Chivasa assert that his actions were in direct contradiction to his duties as a public officer. Additionally, it is alleged that he played a role in managing the unregistered private voluntary organization that operated under the guise of the association.

The State cited instances where certain commuter omnibuses displayed the name of Chivasa’s association, along with his personal details and residential address.

During proceedings, members of the association testified, affirming their affiliation with Chivasa’s alleged bogus association.

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