Monday, 13 June 2022

COPS TURN DOWN BRIBES : 23 ARRESTED

POLICE on Friday turned down bribe offers by 23 motorists they had nabbed for traffic offences at a roadblock in Norton and arrested them for an additional crime of bribery.

The four hours blitz at Norton along the Harare-Bulawayo Highway ran from 10am to 2pm and the motorists offered bribes ranging from US$2 to US$10, each.

The 23 are expected to appear in court soon.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner yesterday confirmed the arrests.

“On June 10, 2022, from 1000hours to 1400hours, police in Norton arrested 23 suspects for bribery.

“The suspects were apprehended for various traffic offences and tried to offer bribes ranging from US$2 to US$10 to police officers at a roadblock along the Harare-Bulawayo highway at the 39km peg,” he said.

He warned people against bribing police officers.

“This clearly shows that there are members of the public who are breaking the law and attempting to bribe the police. We would like to warn them they will be arrested and face the full wrath of the law.”

Harare lawyer Mr Godfrey Mapaya applauded the police in Norton for arresting the culprits.

“Offering a bribe to police is a criminal offence and they should face the consequences of their action. Even the President himself, does not like corrupt tendencies,” Mr Mapaya said.

Chairperson of the Southern Africa Regional Anti-Corruption Organisation (Saraco) Mr Paddington Kadzungura applauded the police for resisting corruption.

“We want to urge the public to desist from precipitating corruption. Members of the public accuse the ZRP of being corrupt but its now coming out that they also offer bribes,” he said.

Meanwhile, police in Gwanda have arrested Prince Sibanda (27) and Abednico Ndlovu (31) for bribery.

The two, who are pirate taxi operators (mushikashika) were arrested separately after trying to offer R100 bribe, each, to traffic police officers.

On June 6, 2022, members of the National Taskforce deployed in Beitbridge under operation “No to cross border crimes,” also arrested Evidence Chionyere (37) for bribery at Bubi roadblock along Masvingo-Beitbridge road.

The suspect approached the roadblock driving a Toyota Hilux vehicle with foreign number plates and offered to pay the police R70 bribe to evade arrest for insecure load as well as having an invalid Temporary Import Permit.

Last month, a 27-year-old woman was arrested on allegations of trying to bribe police officers with R100 at a roadblock along the Masvingo-Beitbridge road while another man has been nabbed for smuggling a Toyota Hilux Double cab vehicle and a Toyota Hilux Single Cab vehicle in Plumtree, as police intensify their operation against border crimes and smuggling.

The Beitbridge woman, Patience Tafireyi, was a passenger in a Mercedes Benz Sprinter that was coming from the border town.

Recently, police in Beitbridge also arrested 12 bus conductors for allegedly trying to bribe officers at a roadblock in Bubi, after being found in possession of smuggled goods.

Their buses were intercepted along the Beitbridge-Masvingo laden with goods smuggled from South Africa.

The conductors were arrested by the National Security Taskforce attached to an operation code-named “No to cross border crimes”, while their buses were carrying goods believed to have been smuggled into the country.

The 12 bus conductors were Proceed Mugadza (34), Mahiya Darlington (45), Titos Nyagara (55), Anyway Chizombe (39), Edmore Mavhiza (50), Blessing Gune (32), Previous Nyangoro (45), Laston Katsande (41), Elvis Mashira (34), Kudakwashe Ndlovu (42), Peter Muronza (34) and Onias Mungwanda (37).

Some of the conductors who have since appeared in court are from bus companies which include Sliver King, MB Transport, Goodriders Bus Service, Four Lions, Munhenzva and Chitulimani Bus company.

Others were travelling in a Toyota Granvia and a Nissan Caravan.

The bus drivers have since been questioned by police.

They were arrested for bribery at Bubi roadblock along Beitbridge-Masvingo highway after they had offered to bribe the police officers with cash so that the buses could be allowed free passage without being searched.

The total cash offered as a bribe is R4 150 and US$23.

Police in Beitbridge also arrested another conductor, Anyway Pepukai (31) for bribery.

The suspect who was a conductor of a Mercedes Benz Sprinter (AFG 9683) from SA instructed his driver to drive off at a police checkpoint before producing cash amounting to R250 which he handed over to a police officer in an attempt to bribe him and was nabbed.

The arrests come after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission last month intercepted and impounded nine buses carrying smuggled goods worth thousands of US dollars during an ongoing anti-smuggling blitz.

This comes at a time the country is reportedly losing US$1 billion annually through smuggling. Herald

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