$5 bribe gets 5 police officers arrested over a $1 per policeman deal with a majecha truck

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Five police constables from Harare find themselves in hot water after allegedly demanding a mere $5 bribe from a suspected sand poacher. The incident, which highlights the ongoing battle against corruption in Zimbabwe, has once again exposed the dire financial situation faced by many civil servants in the country.

The accused officers, namely Dennis Tafadzwa Chivaku, Freeway Muninipi, Givemore Mucheka, Sharon Madondo, and Getrude Ndenga, appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Marehwanazvo Gofa, facing charges of abuse of office. These constables were part of the Harare East District headquarters’ operation, codenamed “No To Illegal Sand Poaching.”

According to the prosecution, an informant came forward last month, reporting to the Police General Headquarters’ internal investigations unit about police officers in Ruwa who were demanding money from sand poachers in the area. This revelation led to a well-executed operation to expose the corrupt officers.

On Monday, the PGHQ internal investigations team set a trap for the police officers in Sunway City, Ruwa. The informant, driving an Iveco five-tonne truck yet to be loaded with sand, was intercepted by the five constables, who were using a brown Volkswagen vehicle owned by Mucheka. It was during this encounter that the bribe was solicited.

The informant, prepared for the trap, handed over the marked $5 note to Chivaku, who subsequently passed it to Mucheka, sitting in the driver’s seat. The money was discreetly stashed away in the glove compartment of the vehicle, unbeknownst to the officers.

However, the PGHQ team swiftly intervened, revealing their presence and detaining the accused officers. The trap money was promptly recovered from the glove compartment, serving as undeniable evidence against the constables.

This incident has shed light on the deeply rooted issue of corruption within various government departments and the precarious financial circumstances faced by Zimbabweans, including civil servants. The paltry salaries earned by police officers and other government employees have become a breeding ground for corruption, as many struggle to make ends meet.

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