Three cops in court for $200 ex­tor­tion

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News -

He said the po­lice of­fi­cers al­legedly searched Mr Shiridzi­nonwa’s com­puter for the said fake cer­tifi­cates, but did not find the doc­u­ments.

“They took the com­plainant’s com­puter with them and ad­vised him that they wanted to con­tinue search­ing. They then loaded the com­puter into their car,” Mr Moyo said.

He said Mr Shiridzi­nonwa re­fused to hand over the Cen­tral Pro­cess­ing Unit say­ing he had some work to do. The cops then al­legedly de­manded $200 for his free­dom and for them to give him back his CPU.

Mr Shiridzi­nonwa was al­legedly ar­rested af­ter he told the cops that he only had $5 on him.

He then started phon­ing his friends look­ing for money and was al­legedly given $50 by a friend, Love­more Ru­wocha. Mr Shiridzi­nonwa al­legedly handed over the money to the cops, who how­ever, de­manded more.

“He re­ceived an­other $50 via EcoCash from his girl­friend, and he sent it to ac­cused per­son’s 2 (Ja­bangwe) Ecocash wal­let,” said Mr Moyo.

An ecocash print-out show­ing that $50 was trans­ferred to Ja­bangwe’s ac­count was pro­duced in court.

The trio, who were driv­ing around with Mr Shi­rodzi­nonwa, al­legedly handed him back his com­puter but con­fis­cated a card reader, sta­pler and a pair of scis­sors.

On June 6, Mr Shiridzi­nonwa went to Bu­l­awayo Cen­tral CID of­fices to get his prop­erty only to be told that the three did not work there.

He then phoned Ja­bangwe de­mand­ing his money but he de­nied know­ing the com­plainant.

“It is the state’s case that the ac­cused per­sons acted in com­mon pur­pose and their con­duct was un­law­ful,” said Moyo.

Mu­gombwi was rep­re­sented by Mr Khol­wani Ny­athi of TJ Mab­hikwa and Part­ners le­gal prac­ti­tion­ers.

In his de­fence, through his lawyer, Mu­gombwi said he did not par­tic­i­pate in ex­tort­ing the com­plainant as he re­mained in the car while the other two went to see Mr Shiridzi­nonwa.

“My client never ob­tained any money from Shiridzi­nonwa, nei­ther did he ex­ert any il­le­git­i­mate pres­sure on him with the pur­pose of ex­tract­ing an ad­van­tage for them­selves or for some other per­sons as al­leged by the state,” said Mr Ny­athi.

“In fact, on the day in ques­tion, my client was re­quested by Ja­bangwe to ac­com­pany him to Cow­dray Park where he wanted to col­lect some money from some­one in Cow­dray Park. My client never in­tro­duced him­self as a mem­ber of CID Bu­l­awayo cen­tral and nei­ther did he tell the com­plainant that he was un­der ar­rest. He also de­nies ever search­ing the ac­cused per­son’s com­puter.”

Wan­gani and Ja­bangwe did not have any le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tion, but they de­nied the al­le­ga­tions.

Wan­gani also said he was asked by Ja­bangwe to ac­com­pany him to Cow­dray Park to col­lect his money from some­one. He also said he re­mained in the car with Mu­gombwi as the lat­ter went to meet the per­son whom he had said owed him some money.

“I only got out of the car to ask for the use of a toi­let. I deny re­ceiv­ing any money or ex­ert­ing any pres­sure on the com­plainant,” he said.

Ja­bangwe told the court that he did not so­licit a bribe but Mr Shiridzi­nonwa owed him $100 he had failed to pay since Jan­uary.

But Mr Shiridzi­nonwa in­sisted the cops ex­tracted money from him.

“They flashed their po­lice iden­tity cards. Ac­cused 1 and 2 in­tro­duced ac­cused 3 as their work­mate from CID Bu­l­awayo Cen­tral. Ac­cused 1 and 3 re­mained out­side while I went in with ac­cused 2,” he said adding that they had all in­tro­duced them­selves as CID of­fi­cers from Bu­l­awayo Cen­tral. — @andile_t­shuma

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