THE three Hwange traffic police officers, who were being accused of stealing $200 from an impounded vehicle, have been acquitted for lack of evidence.
Never David Shiku (33), Ephurage Kabanda (39) and Bright Muchineripi (25) – all stationed at Hwange police traffic section – were freed last Friday by magistrate Sheron Rosimani after the State failed to prove a prima facie case against them.
The police officers had, through their lawyer, Norman Mugiya, denied the theft charge.
The State had alleged that on October 19 last year, the police officers were manning a roadblock at Cross Dete business centre, where they stopped Rumbidzai Mugagade and discovered she was driving without a licence.
The officers, the State claimed, then ordered her to pay a spot fine and Mugagade said she did not have money on her.
She allegedly asked the police officers to accompany her to her home at Lupote business centre to collect the fine.
It is alleged that when they arrived at her home, she produced $20, but the police officers refused to accept it, saying they wanted to compile a criminal docket.
Mugagade claimed she then asked Norbet Shoko to drive the police officers to the main road and left the vehicle under police custody, as it had been impounded.
Shiku then demanded the car keys and allegedly drove it to the police station in the company his colleagues.
Mugagade followed them using a commuter omnibus and on arrival, she asked for the car keys and the $200 which she claimed was in the dashboard tray. She immediately filed a theft case against the police officers.