2 police officers get 2 years in jail each for taking R1 200 bribe from suspect

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Two Beitbridge-based police officers have been jailed for two years each after conniving to take a bribe from a suspect who had been arrested for illegal possession of drugs at the Lutumba growth point.

Andrew Masakadza (37) and Fungai Gomo (33) both deployed to ZRP Rural (Beitbridge) took R1 200 bribe from one Youbeen Mudimba in October last year.

Although they denied the charges of Criminal Abuse of office as public officials, Beitbridge resident Magistrate, Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba convicted them on the strength of the State’s evidence.

The duo was left with an effective one and half years’ imprisonment after the magistrate conditionally suspended six months from each of the 24 months’ sentence for five years.

According to the State, on 23 October last year at around 9 pm, at Happy’s Kitchen, Lutumba business centre, Masakadza and Gomo received information to the effect that Mudimba was selling drugs at her place of residence at Lutumba.

The two police officers who also reside in the same area proceeded to Mudimba’s house known as Happy’s Kitchen.

Upon arrival, the two who were dressed in civilian clothes saw the complainant and searched her shop.

They handcuffed the complainant and another villager, Simbabrashe Ndou, whom they found at the shop and ordered them to enter the house.

They searched and recovered 30 by 100 ml bottles of broncleer syrup, 250 twists of dagga (mbanje), and a plastic sachet containing us$100 and R8000.

Masakadza arrested the complainant and asked for a R2 000 bribe to secure her release.

Mudimba failed to get the money and called her sister, Happiness Muleya about the incident and that she was only left with R500 since the money had been taken by Masakadza.

The court further heard that the two police officers removed the handcuffs from the complainant and the other villager and drove with Mudimba towards the Lutumba Police Base.

Along the way, Mudimba told them that the shop was core owned with one Kudakwashe Chauke who they then called demanding the R2 000, but he offered them R1 200.

After giving them the money, the complainant reported the case at the ZRP Beitbridge Rural police station resulting in the swift arrest of Masakadza and Gomo. Chronicle.

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