AN anti-riot police officer in Bulawayo has been arrested for allegedly demanding a US$10 bribe from a local resident who had violated lockdown regulations by entering the Central Business District (CBD) without an exemption letter.
Phineas Mutandwa (32) who is attached to the ZRP Support Unit at Fairbridge appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya facing charges of criminal abuse of office.
He was remanded out of custody to May 19 on his own cognisance.
The prosecutor, Mr Terrence Chakabuda said on May 4 at around 11AM, the accused person spotted the complainant walking in the CBD and he stopped him.
He demanded to see Mr Thabisani Ndlovu’s exemption letter allowing him to move around during the lockdown.
“The complainant failed to produce the letter and the accused person ordered him to follow him to Bulawayo Central Police Station where he was supposed to pay a $500 fine,” said Mr Chakabuda.
The court heard that along the way, Mutandwa solicited for a US$10 bribe from the complainant in exchange for his freedom.
Mr Ndlovu allegedly gave Mutandwa the US$10 before proceeding to Bulawayo Central Police Station where he reported the matter leading to Mutandwa’s arrest.
Last month, 13 police officers in Bulawayo were arrested for allegedly soliciting and accepting a US$10 bribe from a commuter omnibus crew that had allegedly violated lockdown regulations following the interception of their vehicle.
The accused persons who are all stationed at Bulawayo Central Police Station, were arrested by a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zaac) team after an unidentified whistleblower captured them in a video while they were allegedly receiving the bribe.
The video was posted on social media.
The police officers allegedly blocked and stopped the commuter omnibus at the intersection of Josiah Tongogara Street and 4th Avenue and demanded a bribe from the crew for allegedly disregarding lockdown regulations.
The unsuspecting cops were captured on video by a whistleblower while allegedly receiving US$10 from one Thulani Ndlela, a conductor of the commuter omnibus.
Investigations were carried out leading to the arrest of the accused persons.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said people should report anyone soliciting for bribes.
He said the police command will continue to monitor police officers on the ground to curb acts of corruption.