Thief cop gets com­mu­nity ser­vice

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News - Sukul­wenkosi Dube- Matutu

A PLUMTREE traf­fic cop will per­form 315 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at Tsha­bal­ala Po­lice Sta­tion for steal­ing fines col­lected when he was on duty.

The cop col­lected $205 and R640 from mo­torists early this year and pock­eted the money. The of­fence came to light af­ter the Of­fi­cer in Charge of Plumtree Traf­fic Po­lice sec­tion car­ried out an au­dit of the sta­tion’s re­ten­tion books.

Cla­cious Chatikobo (26) pleaded not guilty to theft charges but was con­victed due to over­whelm­ing ev­i­dence by Plumtree mag­is­trate, Mr Li­vard Phile­mon.

He was sen­tenced to 12 months im­pris­on­ment but three months were sus­pended on con­di­tion that he does not com­mit a sim­i­lar of­fence within the next five years.

The re­main­ing nine months were fur­ther sus­pended on con­di­tion that he per­forms 315 hours of com­mu­nity ser­vice at Tsha­bal­ala Po­lice Sta­tion.

Prose­cut­ing, Mr Elisha Ma­zorodze said Chatikobo col­lected $205 and R640 at po­lice road­blocks but did not hand over the money.

“In Fe­bru­ary and March Chatikobo and Con­sta­ble Garikai Many­era were de­ployed to the Plumtree Ve­hi­cle In­spec­tion De­pot to carry out ve­hi­cle in­spec­tion du­ties and they were is­sued with re­ten­tion books where they were sup­posed to re­ceipt money which they col­lected,” he said.

Mr Ma­zorodze said on May 5 the Of­fi­cer in Charge, In­spec­tor Takaidza Julius car­ried out an au­dit of the sta­tion’s re­ten­tion books and dis­cov­ered that some charge sheets were miss­ing.

An in­ves­ti­ga­tion re­vealed that Chatikobo had stolen the money.

Mr Ma­zorodze said on May 7, Chatikobo brought from home some copies of the miss­ing charge sheets and sur­ren­dered them at the sta­tion.

“On 8 May he paid $200 and on 9 May paid an­other $5 and R640 as re­im­burse­ment for the mis­ap­pro­pri­ated funds re­sult­ing in his im­me­di­ate ar­rest,” he said.

In his de­fence, Chatikobo told the court that he mis­placed charge sheets but sur­ren­dered the money at the sta­tion. He said he in­formed his boss who ad­vised him to search for the pa­pers and re­turn them later.

He said he later found the charge sheets at his house and upon re­turn­ing them, he was ar­rested.

In­spec­tor Julius how­ever told the court that Chatikobo did not sur­ren­der the money or in­form him about the miss­ing pa­pers.

“In fact Chatikobo brought the money which he had stolen af­ter I had con­fronted him over the is­sue as a cover up. He only brought the money af­ter I had re­alised that he was steal­ing,” he said.— @ DubeMatutu.

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