Zimbabwe News

2 cops arrested for US$700 bribe

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission has arrested two detectives for allegedly demanding and receiving more than USD700 for them to recover 20 instead of 75 bags of fertilisers stolen from the Presidential Inputs Scheme.

Nelson Chinembiri (36) and Maxwell Mukono (34) both detective constables based at Marondera Criminal Investigation Department are expected to appear at the magistrates’ courts this afternoon facing charges of criminal abuse of duty.

Charges against the two arose on October 24 this year when Diana Dune, an Agritex officer in Macheke was issued with 75 x 50kgs of compound D fertiliser and 75x10kgs of maize seed at Timbermills Grain Marketing Board [GMB] in Macheke. The inputs were issued under the Presidential Inputs scheme and were meant to be distributed to farmers in Ward 34 Macheke.

Instead of taking the inputs to Ward 34, Diana Dune in connivance with Solomon Makaka decided to sell the fertiliser to Maxwell Takawira, a businessman in the area. On November 3, 2023, the accused received information about the theft of the fertiliser and proceeded to Munamba Business Centre, where they managed to recover the 75 x 50kgs fertiliser at Maxwell Takawira’s shop.

Instead of confiscating all the fertiliser, the duo allegedly demanded that Maxwell Takawira pay them so that they would not recover all the fertiliser. To mitigate his loss Takawira allegedly agreed with the arrangement and gave the detectives USD500.

As a result, the duo went on to seize only 20 x 50kgs fertiliser leaving behind 55 x 50kgs. The duo then instructed Takawira to move the remaining 55 bags of fertiliser to a secure place so as to conceal evidence of it ever being there. It is also alleged that on November 4 and 5, the two arrested Solomon Makaka and Diana Dune and took them to Marondera magistrates for initial remand.

They misrepresented on the request for remand form that they had recovered 20 x 50kgs of the stolen fertiliser yet in actual fact they knew they had left 55 x 50kgs behind. Later during the same week, the two detectives met with Takawira at N Richards Shops in Marondera and demanded some more bribe money and he gave them USD100.

On a different occasion, the two met again with Takawira at the Marondera Post Office and they were given USD130. All in all, they received USD730 from Takawira and on November 14, 2023, detectives from ZACC received a tip-off about the duo’s shenanigans and went to Munamba Business Center where they recovered the remaining 55 bags of fertiliser from Takawira. The two, it is alleged, knowingly acted contrary to their duties as public officers as they knowingly omitted to seize the 55 bags of fertiliser after receiving an undue payment of USD730 from Takawira.

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