Cops ar­rested at Beit­bridge bor­der

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Thu­peyo Mu­leya

FOUR po­lice de­tec­tives at­tached to the an­ticor­rup­tion sec­tion at Beit­bridge Bor­der Post, who were in­stru­men­tal in the ar­rest of two im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers caught tak­ing bribes on cam­era last week, were on Tues­day nabbed af­ter tak­ing a bribe of R1 500 from a bus crew they had in­ter­cepted smug­gling cook­ing oil and blan­kets. Sergeants Sibu­sisiwe Chiv­erengo and Lawrence Mun­yika along with Con­sta­bles Hil­lary Tetete and Ray­mond Tapiwa Jeche were picked up by de­tec­tives from the bor­der con­trol unit soon af­ter col­lect­ing their “pick­ings”.

Bor­der au­thor­i­ties said the four were ar­rested at around 6AM and have been charged with crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice.

They said the four are part of a re­ac­tion and sur­veil­lance team, which acts on in­for­ma­tion pro­vided by other of­fi­cers in the closed cir­cuit tele­vi­sions con­trol room within the bor­der.

“The ac­cused per­sons were on duty and were mon­i­tor­ing cus­toms of­fi­cials from the en­force­ment and com­pli­ance search­ing lug­gage in buses.

“Af­ter the bus had been searched, they saw some trav­ellers tak­ing back into the bus some prod­ucts which are re­stricted un­der Statu­tory In­stru­ment Num­ber 64. They then called the cus­toms of­fi­cials to con­duct a re-search,” said the of­fi­cial.

The source said 14 blan­kets and sev­eral boxes of cook­ing oil were then seized by of­fi­cials from the Zim­babwe Rev­enue Au­thor­ity.

It is al­leged Tetete ap­proached the bus driver Mr Maxwell Mabonga and de­manded R500, threat­en­ing to ini­ti­ate another search of the bus.

He was given the money and went away.

Mr Mabonga then drove the bus to an im­mi­gra­tion check point where he was fol­lowed by Mun­yika and Jeche who de­manded a fur­ther R2 000 threat­en­ing to search the bus again.

When Mr Mabonga re­sisted, they called in Tetete and Chiv­erengo as re­in­force­ment.

“I later col­lected R1 000 from the pas­sen­gers and we agreed that I was to give the money to one of them in the men’s toi­let by the bor­der.

“Af­ter that I took im­ages of the money which I then handed over to one of the po­lice of­fi­cers and re­ported im­me­di­ately af­ter­wards. They were all ar­rested but the money was not re­cov­ered, ” said Mr Mabonga.

Mata­bele­land South po­lice spokesper­son, In­spec­tor Philisani Nde­bele was not reach­able on his mo­bile phones.

Na­tional Po­lice spokesper­son Se­nior As­sis­tant Com­mis­sioner Char­ity Charamba said she was yet to get de­tails of the mat­ter.

This brings to eight the to­tal num­ber of bor­der of­fi­cials ar­rested since the in­tro­duc­tion of se­cret cam­eras at the bor­der post.

So far, six po­lice of­fi­cers and two im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers have fallen vic­tim to the security up­grade at the coun­try’s port of en­try.

Last week, South Africa’s spe­cial anti-cor­rup­tion unit, the Hawks ar­rested two se­nior im­mi­gra­tion of­fi­cers at Beit­bridge for tak­ing bribes from Zim­bab­wean trav­ellers and asy­lum seek­ers.

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