Rare as it is to see cops in the dock it is now happening often.
And as the cancer of corruption spreads several law enforcement agents have recently been dragged to court as accused persons and not testifiers as is oft the norm.
True to the cliché no one is above the law some members of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) have been forced to share holding cells with hardened and petty criminals.
Police spokesperson Charity Charamba says, they are committed to uprooting the disease that has lately afflicted the organisation.
Just last week a police officer was hauled before the courts on charges of demanding a $3 bribe.
Charamba said such cases show how the ZRP is committed to busting crime even within its ranks.
“We are actually the ones who bring those deviant cops to court and that is one measure we have implemented to ensure that we deter like-minded individuals from engaging in such criminal activities,” she said.
Harare lawyer Rungano Mahuni of Mahuni and Matatu Legal Practitioners believes the criminal activities in the police force are being fuelled by the hard conditions those in the lower ranks work under.
“This issue is bigger than what we think and is more a case of maladministration within the force. Junior cops are not provided with necessary facilities and equipment to carry out their duties.
You find that they struggle to bring suspects to court yet their bosses have at least three vehicles. Just recently cop bosses received a substantial amount of Ford Rangers. Those structural inequalities pave way for junior cops to end up in criminal activities.”
According to the 2015 Corruption Perceptions Index reported by Transparency International Zimbabwe, the country (Zimbabwe) ranks 150 out of 175 most corrupt nations.
A sergeant stationed at Chitungwiza District Headquarters who demanded a $3 bribe from a motorist is answering to abuse of duty charges.
Farai Kuuyeza, 39, denied the charges when he appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba last week.
Prosecutor Shambidzeni Fungura alleged that on January 13 Kuuyeza was leading a team of police officers who manned a road block at Delpot along Seke Chitungwiza Road and then went on to demand a bribe.
Two other cops attached to ZRP Protection Unit Tomlinson Depot were recently arraigned before the courts for allegedly demanding a $10 bribe from a motorist.
Fredlie Toto Makaradhi of 635 Glen Norah A Harare and Anesu J Manjengwa appeared before Harare magistrate Elijah Makomo charged with “Criminal abuse of duty”