BY Richard Muponde
SEVEN police officers based in Marondera were arrested on Tuesday after they were caught red-handed by their bosses while receiving a bribe at a roadblock.
The cops were allegedly nabbed after taking an $18 bribe from a commuter omnibus crew in full view of their superiors.
Deputy Commissioner-Generals Stephen Mutamba and Elliot Ngirande, Commissioner Isaac Tayengwa and Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi, who is also the national police spokesperson, were travelling in an unmarked police minibus on their way to Odzi Mine when they allegedly caught their subordinates in the act.
One of the policewomen manning the roadblock with six others was observed taking a bribe of $18 from a commuter omnibus conductor.
She was immediately arrested and a search led to the recovery of undeclared $200 in her handbag, leading to the team’s arrest.
Nyathi yesterday confirmed the arrests while addressing a Zimbabwe Union of Journalists community reporting workshop in Harare.
“It was around 9am when we observed the female police officer being given money by a conductor of a commuter omnibus which had no proper documention,” Nyathi said.
“We had no option, but to arrest her and recovered $18 in her hands. We also searched her handbag and found another $200 which was undeclared. We later arrested seven members and they are losing their jobs.”
He urged journalists to help flag corruption issues and commended Alpha Media Holdings — the publishers of NewsDay, Zimbabwe Independent and The Standard — for highlighting the arrest of a 13-member anti-machete crack team last week for alleged extortion.
“I was happy to see an article about those Chegutu police officers who extorted from miners. This is what the media should do. Those police officers have lost their jobs. As police, we promise the public that if you report any corrupt activities by our officers, the long arm of the law will catch up with them as we don’t tolerate rogue elements in our rank and file,” Nyathi said.
He also appealed to the media to have trust in the police as they recognise the fourth estate as an important partner in policing issues.
“We can’t do our job without the journalists. It’s a reality as you do some of our jobs. You are doing it consciously or unconsciously. In that regard, we should continue to interact with you the media,” Nyathi said.