Mid­night at­tack to dis­cour­age bribe tes­ti­mony ‘MAFIA COPS’ BEAT UP WIT­NESS

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page - Andile Tshuma

FIVE po­lice of­fi­cers armed with knives al­legedly raided the home of a State wit­ness in a bribery case and beat him up in an ef­fort to stop him from tes­ti­fy­ing against them in court.

The cops, a court heard yes­ter­day, threat­ened to kill Mr Claudius Chauke dur­ing the mafia-style at­tack at mid­night. They al­legedly told him that they were mem­bers of the Cen­tral In­tel­li­gence Or­gan­i­sa­tion (CIO).

The cops al­legedly ad­vised Mr Chauke that it would be good for his well be­ing if he kept away from the wit­ness box. Although he in­sisted all five were po­lice­men, only Malvin Ndlovu (36) an as­sis­tant in­spec­tor, ad­mit­ted he was a po­lice of­fi­cer in court.

The other four mem­bers of the ter­ror gang — who were not named in court and are still at large — were said to be civil­ians.

Ndlovu ap­peared be­fore Western Com­mon­age mag­is­trate Mr Stephen Ndlovu charged with ex­tor­tion and crim­i­nal abuse of of­fice.

He ap­peared along­side an ac­com­plice, an­other po­lice of­fi­cer, Try­more Gore (34) who al­legedly de­manded a bribe to­gether with Ndlovu from Mr Chauke but did not go to threaten the wit­ness at his home.

The mag­is­trate re­manded Gore out of cus­tody. Ndlovu had been ini­tially re­manded out of cus­tody as well but his con­di­tions were al­tered af­ter the State proved that he had in­ter­fered with State wit­nesses. The mag­is­trate re­manded him in cus­tody to Oc­to­ber 6.

Mr Chauke failed to ap­pear in court at an ini­tial trial date af­ter the al­leged mid­night at­tack by the five-man gang. He was later sum­moned to court and re­vealed that he could not come to court as he feared for his life.

“They came to my house at night and told me that they were from the Pres­i­dent’s Of­fice,” said Mr Chauke.

“They threat­ened to kill me if I tes­ti­fied against them in this court. They said they would slit my throat if I ever set foot in this court. Ac­cused 1 (Ndlovu), held me by the col­lar and as­saulted me with open hands.

“I had to leave my home and go to stay at my place of work at a mine in Iny­athi. I promised them that I would not come to court, Your Wor­ship, and I had to keep my word be­cause I was afraid. That’s why I did not come to court.”

The State, led by Mr Bu­sani Moyo al­leges that on June 11 this year at Cow­dray Park po­lice sta­tion, Ndlovu and Gore ar­rested Mr Chauke for ma­li­cious dam­age to prop­erty.

Mr Moyo said: “Chauke’s for­mer girl­friend had teamed up with friends to as­sault him, and they pro­ceeded to the po­lice first to file a re­port against him. When Chauke ar­rived at the sta­tion to file his own re­port, he was sub­se­quently ar­rested by As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Ndlovu and Con­sta­ble Try­more Gore.”

The court heard that the ac­cused per­sons told Mr Chauke they were go­ing to de­tain him in the cells un­til Mon­day since it was a Fri­day and re­fused to take his re­port.

“The ac­cused per­sons then de­manded $150 from the com­plainant to re­lease him to go and seek med­i­cal attention as he had been as­saulted ear­lier dur­ing the day. Chauke handed $100 to Ndlovu and $50 to Gore. He was then re­leased on the same day,” said Mr Moyo.

It is the state’s case that Mr Chauke later filed a re­port against the two cops.

“While in­ves­ti­ga­tions were in progress, the of­fi­cers al­legedly re­im­bursed him and drafted a with­drawal af­fi­davit state­ment for an il­lit­er­ate Chauke so that he could with­draw the com­plaint,” said the pros­e­cu­tor.

The af­fi­davit was com­mis­sioned and he ten­dered it to the po­lice.— @andile_t­shuma.

Mr Claudius Chauke (Pic­ture by Andile Tshuma)

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