Two Bulawayo police officers have been arrested after they allegedly extorted $360 from a National Railways of Zimbabwe (NRZ) employee.
The cops alleged Mr Busani Ncube (47), a driver at NRZ, had attempted to hire a prostitute.
Lungile Mpofu (28) of Magwegwe North and Ngqabutho Nkomazana (29) of Emakhandeni were not asked to plead when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Mr Tinashe Tashaya yesterday.
Their lawyer, Mr Tanaka Muganyi of Dube-Banda Nzarayapenga and Partners, won them free bail to next Monday.
Prosecuting, Miss Leean Nkomo told the court that on September 24 at around 11PM, Mr Ncube was on duty, driving NRZ workers home after evening duty.
“Complainant was at 1st Ave when his phone rang and he pulled over to answer. All of a sudden a prostitute jumped into his vehicle uninvited and offered to render sexual services. Complainant removed the lady out of his car and drove to the NRZ Diesel Shed close to Mpilo Hospital where he was to pick one, Obert Mlalazi,” said Miss Nkomo
She added: “When he was about to drive off, the two accused persons pulled up and parked behind him. They identified themselves as cops and told him that he was under arrest for attempting to hire a prostitute. They threatened to impound his vehicle if he didn’t pay a fine.”
Miss Nkomo said Mpofu got into Mr Ncube’s car and ordered him to drive into the city centre but he persuaded them to allow him to drive Mr Mlalazi home first and they agreed.
“Complainant tried to explain to accused why he had pulled over but he wouldn’t understand. Accused told complainant he was lucky he spoke Ndebele because if he had spoken Shona it would have been a bigger offence.”
Miss Nkomo said Mr Ncube borrowed $50 from Mr Mlalazi so that he could pay off the cops but the police officers demanded $350.
Mr Ncube, Mr Mlalazi and the cops drove back into the city centre so that Mr Ncube could withdraw the money from an ATM.
Miss Nkomo said Nkomazana told Mr Ncube that the fuel that he had been allocated was used up and Ncube gave them $10.
She said after parting with the cops, Mr Ncube went to the Central Police Station and reported them for extortion.
Miss Nkomo said investigations were made and officers were put on parade where Mr Ncube identified the two officers, leading to their arrest.