Border cop frees female deportees; jailed nine months for criminal abuse of office  

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By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent 

A POLICE officer has been jailed following conviction of criminally abusing his office after unlawfully releasing four women deported from neighbouring Zambia.

The detained quartet was supposed to be taken to Harare for quarantine before their lawful release by the relevant authorities.

Detective inspector Columbia Masvaire, who worked as a criminal intelligence officer at Chirundu Border Post, was on Monday sentenced to nine months in prison.

Six months were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.

Masvaire will, therefore, serve an effective three months behind bars.

In passing sentence, Kariba resident magistrate, Tapiwa Banda, took into account that the accused person was a first offender who had dependents relying on him for survival.

The court also considered Masvaire lost his job after his contract was terminated by the ministry of home affairs.

The complainant was Vimbai Mudzimu, a social welfare officer.

The state case was that on September 26, 2021, at the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) tent at Chirundu Border, Masvaire, as a public officer and in the exercise of his functions as a member of the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), whisked away four female deportees from custody of constable Nkomo, who was guarding and safe keeping them awaiting quarantine.

He did this on the pretext the ladies wanted to go and shower and have food since they were being denied these privileges by the social welfare department.

Masvaire then immediately freed them, thereby showing favour to the deportees, which was inconsistent or contrary to his duties.

A commuter omnibus which was requested to carry the deportees arrived from Harare, but the deportees were nowhere to be found, and it returned empty.

The deportees were supposed to remain in custody at the IOM tent until they were ferried to Harare for quarantine.