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Border officials granted bail

by Staff reporter
30 Dec 2020 at 07:18hrs | Views
A senior Government official and a police officer deployed at Beitbridge Border Post who were arrested on Christmas Day on corruption charges by a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) crack team were yesterday released on $10 000 bail each.

Tafadzwa Musakanya, a supervisor at the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Water and Rural Resettlement, and Progress Laiza Tabarwa, a police officer, were arrested by ZACC officials jointly working with Zimbabwe Revenue Authority (Zimra) loss control officers.

The two were allegedly caught corruptly demanding and collecting bribes from returning citizens and visitors entering the country from South Africa.

They were not asked to plead to charges of Criminal Abuse of Office when they appeared before Beitbridge Resident Magistrate, Mr Toyindepi Zhou who remanded them to 28 January in the interim.

In addition, the duo is expected to report once per month at ZRP Beitbridge Urban police station until the matter is finalised. Musakanya and Tabarwa have been in remand prison since their arrest on Christmas Day.

The accused persons are alleged to have committed the crime while in the company of two other police officers who are on the run, and have been identified as Constables Chokera and Msipa.

Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa told the court that on December 25, the duo was deployed to Beitbridge Border Post in the morning. While there, the accused persons along with Chokera and Msipa allegedly demanded and collected bribes from returning residents so that they could speed up the processing of border clearance.

However, they ran out of luck when some irked travellers reported them to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission.

The court further heard that a crack team was then deployed to the port of entry where they spotted the accused persons collecting money from light vehicle motorists entering the country.

They were allegedly collecting the bribes and placing them into their pockets, and unbeknown to them they were being monitored. ZACC officers then pounced on the accused persons when they were about to change shifts at 2 PM.

Musakanya was found in possession of R1 170 and US$20 while Tabarwa had R550. Constables Chokera and Msipa ran away upon realising they had been busted and their whereabouts remain unknown.

The latest development brings to seven the total number of border officials who have been arrested for corruption at Beitbridge Border Post in the past four weeks.

Three Zimra officials were also arrested a few weeks ago for facilitating the smuggling of 176 000 litres of fuel worth nearly US$86 000 in import duty.

Source - the herald

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