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No bail for corruption accused border officials

by Staff reporter
17 Mar 2022 at 05:45hrs | Views
EIGHTEEN security officials drawn from members of the national security cluster were yesterday denied bail by a Beitbridge Magistrate after they were arrested for taking a R2 000 bribe from a cross-border bus crew at a roadblock in the border town.

The team is part of the multi-discipline security team deployed to combat crime at the border with South Africa.

They were busted on Saturday afternoon by an anti-corruption team at a security checkpoint between Beitbridge Border Post and the Chicago area, along the Beitbridge-Masvingo highway.

Initially, 27 suspects were caught in the dragnet but nine were freed following preliminary investigations.

The 18, who are being represented by Mr Muchiwande Sithole, were denied bail by Beitbridge Resident Magistrate Mr Takudzwa Gwazemba and remanded in custody to March 29.

They are facing charges of criminal abuse of office and the magistrate ruled that the gang was not fit for bail after they evaded arrest at the crime scene.

The accused fled when one of them was arrested for taking the R2 000 bribe, but were later cornered by the anti-corruption police.

"Bail is denied considering that you are all security members, who are fully aware of how the law works after an arrest and initially you evaded arrest at the alleged crime scene and hence you are a flight risk. You will be tried from custody," said the magistrate.

The State led by Ms Tinayeishe Matenga and Mr Ronald Mugwagwa said the gang was arrested by an anti-corruption unit following reports of corruption by road users.

A trap was set up on March 12 resulting in the accused persons' arrest at a security checkpoint between Beitbridge town and Chicago Village along the Beitbridge-Masvingo Road.

It is alleged that the team that was acting in common purpose stopped a Sable Class cross-border bus and demanded a bribe of R2 000 to allow it to pass through unchecked.

One, Shepherd Mugomeza of the ZRP Support Unit (Lima Troop) was given R2 000 by a bus crew member which was in marked R200 notes.

Unbeknown to the accused persons, there were anti-corruption detectives on board, who then rounded up the accused persons.

Some among the 18 fled and hid in nearby bushes, but were later cornered and arrested.

The R2 000 bribe money and a 5-litre ‘pot' (plastic container) they were using to keep the loot were recovered.

The accused persons include Juliet Raura (32) of ZRP Support Unit Hotel Troop Chikurubi, Trevor Chidemo (29) of ZRP Support Unit November Troop, Matseketsa Zvipozvashe (45) of ZRP Support unit Chikurubi, Berita Sokalikamba (37) ZRP Support Unit Chikurubi, Liberty Rutsate (32) the Environmental Health Officer at Beitbridge Hospital, Gurumani Robert Paul (36) of Josiah Tungamirai Airforce base, Moreblessing Nyanhongo (30) ZNA Provost Coy, Patrick Chimbadzo (34) ZRP CID Rusape, Kudzai Muziki (32) ZRP Mat North PHQ and Nyaku Tichareva of ZRP Beitbridge Traffic.

Others are Tambudzai Parirehwa (45) of ZRP CID Rusape, Priscila Gosa (31) of ZRP Beitbridge Traffic, Bothwell Tsinda of ZRP Victoria Falls, Rodrick Kudemba (31) of Support Unit Chikurubi Rural, Givemore Charuma (30) of ZRP Support Unit Changadzi, Tafara Mandishona (36) of ZPCS Bindura Prison and Kevin Moyo (36) of ZRP Victoria Falls, Rodeck Kudemba of Support Unit Chikurubi rural, Givemore Charuma of Birchenough growth point, Tafara Mandishona of Bindura and Kevin Moyo of Pumula South in Bulawayo.

Source - The Chronicle
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