In a shocking turn of events, two traffic police officers in Beitbridge have reportedly gone into hiding after being accused of manipulating records and embezzling funds from their employer.
According to a leaked memo, officers Tinashe Chatseta and Gift Marange allegedly orchestrated a scheme to steal a total of US$345 and R3730 by tampering with figures in the fines books. Chatseta is said to have pocketed US$205 and R2830, while Marange accounted for the remaining amount. The alleged offence was brought to light on February 2, 2024, when their superior, Inspector Clever Barikano, conducted an audit of the Z69J police fines receipt books.
The memo stated, “Circumstances are that on 02 February 2024 at around 0800 hours, Inspector Clever Barikano went through books and records. He discovered twenty-three  cases where Tinashe Chatseta and Gift Marange wrote different figures on Z69J fast and duplicate copies as compared to the other two copies of the same serial number.”
The two officers reportedly manipulated the duplicates by writing down lower amounts for trivial offences, while issuing the original receipts to offenders with the actual charges. The difference between the two amounts was then pocketed by the accused officers.
For example, if an offender paid a fine of US$30, Chatseta and Marange would issue an original receipt reflecting the correct amount, but tamper with the duplicate copies to show only US$5.
“In this case, they would write less amounts of a trivial offence on the fast and duplicate copies yet they would have charged the offender a serious offence with higher amount of fines. Therefore, as a result, the accused took the difference and converted the amount to his own use,” stated the memo, which detailed the extent of their fraudulent activities.
Upon discovering the offence, a report was filed at the ZRP Beitbridge Urban, and the case was registered under ZRP Beitbridge Urban CR 14/02/24 and CID Beitbridge DR 13/02/24. Efforts are currently underway to locate and apprehend the two absconding officers to face the charges brought against them.