THREE cops from Shurugwi Central Police Station were arrested for allegedly extorting $1 200 in bribes, from motorists at a roadblock.
The police anti corruption unit swooped on the trio along the Gweru-Shurugwi highway on Wednesday last week.
Constables Edwin Chiteshe, Tsaurai and Mike allegedly failed to account for the money.
Traffic cops are not allowed to carry personal cash while on duty and are subjected to spot checks by their superiors and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) to curb bribery and corruption.
The three cops allegedly harassed the ZACC officers, demanding a bribe, before they identified themselves.
The $1,200 according to police sources was in a vehicle belonging to one of the traffic officers parked about 10metres from the roadblock.
Sources said the three tried to resist having five-member Anti-Corruption Unit from searching the vehicle.
The group, a source said, prevailed after stating they suspected the constables were soliciting bribes from motorists.
Superintendent Taurai Mambure who was part of the team confirmed arresting three traffic police officers based at Shurugwi central police station.
“In connection with the police officers arrested in Shurugwi l can only refer you to Shurugwi Central Police Station. They have all the details,” said Supt Mambure. “For a press comment I advise you to get hold of Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba she will give the official position. We are not allowed to talk to the press.”
The Chronicle is reliably informed that the three were found in possession of $1, 200 while they had only receipted $380.
A Shurugwi tout only identified as Dexter who witnessed the drama unfolding said the three police officers were mounting a police roadblock near Impala farm turn-off when the anti-corruption unit team pounced on them.
“The three did not recognise the team and they went on to harass them. After arguing for a while the five revealed their identity and searched the three police officers. They were found them with over $1 200,” he said.
National Police Spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba professed ignorance claiming that she was still to get the report.
“I am not aware of that. I have not received any report related to that,” she said.
The three, a police source said yesterday, will soon appear at the Gweru magistrates’ court.
The police have declared a zero tolerance to corruption.
A number of corrupt police officers have over the years been dismissed from the force.
Last year about 300 police officers were fired for allegedly demanding bribes or setting up illegal roadblocks to extort money from motorists.