THREE police officers and a member of the neighbourhood watch committee in Beitbridge have been arrested after they were bribed with $2 400 in fake notes by a suspected stockthief.
The quartet had been pestering the man for money after promising to tamper with evidence in a case where he was arrested for stealing 13 cattle.
Police officers Clayton Dube (29), Nigel Gurure (26), Taurai Mavoko (32) and Luckson Ndou – a member of the Police Special Constabulary unit – were arrested by police detectives on Monday afternoon after they walked into a trap.
They were arrested soon after receiving the money. The suspects appeared before Beitbridge resident magistrate Miss Gloria Takundwa on Tuesday charged with criminal abuse of office.
Through their lawyer, Mr David Mhiribidi, they pleaded not guilty to the charges and were remanded to April 5 on $200 bail pending trial.
The gang was also ordered to surrender their passports and not to interfere with State witnesses.
Prosecuting, Miss Nomathemba Sayi told the court that the four accused persons arrested one Lishiba Mukwevho on a charge of stocktheft involving 13 cattle.
Mukwevho was then taken to court on January 2 where he was released on $200 bail pending trial on March 15. Miss Sayi said some time in February , the quartet contacted Mukwevho indicating that he should pay them $1 000 each so that they could tamper with evidence in the docket to weaken the State case.
Mukwevho promised to look for cash and took his time until they approached him on March 14 demanding the money since he was supposed to appear in court the following day.
Mukwevho then promised to pay them after selling some of his cattle and he in turn reported the matter to his employer who then made a report to the police.
The four where then trapped by police detectives on March 21 after they were told to collect the money at a house in Dulibadzimu suburb.