Bribery Backfires: 4 greedy police officers in deep trouble for demanding US$40 from kombi driver

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Four police officers based in Harare have been brought before the courts on charges of demanding a bribe from a pirate kombi driver. The constables, identified as Learnmore Maburitse, Emmanuel Matema, Bernard Mukande, and Leeyer Mumba, appeared before Harare magistrate Apolonia Marutya to face accusations of soliciting a payment of US$40 in exchange for not impounding the driver’s vehicle.

According to reports, the officers allegedly turned down an initial offer of US$5 from the driver. It was only after the driver’s manager intervened that a plan was devised to catch the corrupt officers red-handed. The four constables were subsequently apprehended.

The next hearing for the case has been scheduled for February 16 of the following year, where a trial date may be set. The State revealed that the accused officers, who are currently assigned to Harare Central Operations, were deployed for a “No to Mushikashika” operation, targeting the streets between Samora Machel Avenue and Jason Moyo Avenue.

The incident occurred on December 7 when the four officers stopped Peter Marufu, who was operating a Toyota Quantum along the City-Kuwadzana route, at the Rotten Row and Jason Moyo Avenue traffic lights. Allegedly, they accused Marufu of carrying excess passengers and demanded that he offload all of them, to which he complied.

Subsequently, the officers instructed Marufu to drive his vehicle in the direction of Harare City Council Central Stores along Coventry Road. However, during the journey, the four constables allegedly solicited a bribe of US$40 from Marufu in order to avoid impounding his vehicle. Despite having only US$5 on him, which he offered as an alternative, the officers rejected the amount.

Not willing to succumb to corruption, Marufu contacted his manager, Lucky Mudawanhu, who assured him that more cash would be brought. The constables directed the kombi driver to park opposite Colcom Industries, where the trap was set. Mudawanhu promptly reported the incident to the police, leading to the arrest of the corrupt officers.

The State was represented by Zebediah Bofu during the court proceedings.

This case highlights the ongoing battle against corruption within the police force and serves as a reminder that some individuals entrusted with upholding the law can be swayed by personal gain. The swift action taken by the driver and his manager, along with the subsequent arrest of the accused officers, demonstrates the commitment to combating corruption within the justice system.

As the legal process unfolds, it is hoped that these officers will be held accountable for their alleged misconduct, sending a strong message that corruption will not be tolerated.

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