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$30 bribe lands 3 police officers in trouble

by Staff Reporter
18 Sep 2017 at 00:13hrs | Views
Three members of the police constabulary on Saturday appeared in court on allegations of demanding a $30 bribe from a journalist whom they had allowed to interview suspects they had arrested.

John Chigaba (38), Patrick Nyamutongowa (26) and Hillary Masaraure (29) allegedly seized notes which Zimpapers' Muchaneta Chimuka had written during the interview with the suspects.

They demanded $30 bribe saying they had done her a favour by giving her a story and allowing her to interview the parties involved, the court heard.

It is the State's case that two of the accused persons even went to Herald House in Harare's central business district and met Kwayedza editor Patrick Shamba and told him that without the $30 they were not going to release Chimuka's notes.

Chigaba, Nyamutongowa and Masaraure appeared before magistrate Ms Ruramai Chitumbura facing a charge of soliciting for a bribe.

They were released on $50 bail each and remanded to October 17. Prosecuting, Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa alleged that on September 13, Catherine Zenda discovered that the man she had been referring to as an uncle for years was actually her father.

She confronted Austin Zenda over the issue. Austin is a brother to Catherine's mother hence she was allegedly born out of an incestuous relationship and to avoid arrest, it is alleged Austin and his sister kept it a secret.

Catherine is alleged to have stripped in front of her father in protest and caused a scene in Chitungwiza. Police officers, including the trio who were at a nearby police base went to investigate the matter.

Chigaba allegedly informed Chimuka of the story, who then rushed to the police base.

The three accused persons allowed Chimuka to interview the parties involved at the police base and demanded $30, saying they had sourced news for her.

While she was taking down her notes, Masaraure, the State alleged, grabbed Chimuka's note pad and tore the pages she had written down her notes on.

Chimuka is said to have left the scene and reported the matter to her boss Shamba.

The following day, Chigaba and Nyamutongowa took the notes from Masaraure and proceeded to Herald House where they met Shamba. It is alleged they said without the $30, they would not release the notes.

Shamba then called a senior police officer and informed him of the case and police detectives were sent to Herald House where the two were arrested while waiting for "their" money.

They implicated their alleged third accomplice.

Source - Herald