THE trial of officer commanding Mbare traffic officer accused of soliciting for a bribe to allow free passage of commuter Omni buses for a certain company commenced Wednesday with the cop claiming that the arresting officer fondled her buttocks.
Denying the charges, Violet Sigauke, 55, said the offence was orchestrated in order to remove her from her post.
Sigauke was arrested after she was found in possession of trap money which she allegedly tried to swallow upon her arrest in her office.
She was represented by her lawyer Admire Rubaya who told court that her rights were trampled on when she was arrested last month.
She accused the arresting detail, Inspector Mabwe of handling her in an indecent manner by touching her private parts.
“Mabwe and others committed indecent assault by touching and fondling her buttocks and breast in the process of executing the alleged trap,” said Rubaya.
Rubaya told court that the junior officers who arrested Sigauke planted the alleged marked bribe notes on her.
It is state’s case that Sigauke tried to swallow the trap money which comprised $20 and $10 notes.
Prosecutor Francesca Mukumbiri alleges that the officers tried to restrain her from swallowing the money and Sigauke bit Mabwe on his thumb adding that he sustained a deep wound.
Testifying, Wilson Siwela, the conductor who was supposedly given the trap money to hand over to Sigauke, confirmed that she indeed took $60 from him.
“I didn’t know it was trap money. I knew it was money for our kombis to operate freely in the route which the accused manages. I indeed handed over the money to her and my boss called her checking if she indeed received $60 because he didn’t trust me,” he told court under cross examination with Rubaya.
“I was surprised when other officers came in and beat me and she tried to swallow the money I had given her. She had placed the money in her second drawer on her desk. She wrestled with another police officer and bit his thumb, the cop was rescued by his other colleagues who managed to apprehend the accused, forcing her to spit the money,” Siwela added.
Magistrate Lazini Ncube postponed the case to March 24 for trial continuation.
State alleges that Sigauke ordered MamaRu commuter omnibus company's manager, Kudzai Mapako, to give her $120 every two weeks for his buses to operate freely in the route she manages.
She is facing criminal abuse of office charges and is out of custody on $100 bail.