By Staff Reporter
Mutare: A police officer stationed at Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Minerals, Flora and Fauna department here, together with his accomplice employed by Mines and Minerals Corporation of Zimbabwe(MMCZ), were recently arrested after they were found in possession of 11 pieces of diamonds weighing 35.24 carats worth US$2 925,85.
The police officer, Joseph Mlambo (36) and his accomplice Stanley Tafadzwa Mafukidze (37) denied the charges when they appeared before magistrate Nyasha Kuture.
They were remanded out of custody to December 18 for trial.
Prosecutors told the court that on May 29 at around 5 am, Detective Constable Chidhakwa stationed at CID Mutare Flora and Fauna unit received information that black Mazda BT50 double had been used to smuggle diamonds from Chiadzwa diamond mining field on the day in question.
Chidhakwa teamed up with Sergeant Magune and Sergeant Major Manhivi and proceeded to Hot springs in Nyanyadzi.
Chidhakwa armed himself with an AK- 47 assault rifle and upon arrival, they set an ambush at a river along Hot springs Chiadzwa road in Nyanyadzi.
The court heard that around 7.30 am, the targeted vehicle approached the scene being driven by Mafukudze while Mlambo was occupying the front passenger seat wearing a blue dust coat.
Chidhakwa reportedly corked his riffle, walked into the middle of the road and signalled Mafukidze to stop the motor vehicle and he complied.
Mlambo immediately disembarked from the motor vehicle, removed his dust coat and threw it to the driver before he charged towards Chidhakwa shouting and instructing him to abandon their mission.
The court was further told that Mlambo went on to push and poke Chidhakwa in the face threatening to beat him up.
Detective Sergeant Major Manhivi had to intervene.
Sergeant Magune managed to search the car in the presence of Mafukuze and recovered 12 pieces of diamond in Mlambo’s right dust coat pocket.
However, Mlambo did not stop threatening Chidhakwa.
The two suspects failed to produce licence for ownership of the diamond leading to their subsequent arrest.
On June 11 this year, the diamonds were taken to the assayer who confirmed 11 of the 12 pieces were real diamonds.
The diamonds were taken to MMCZ for safe keeping as exhibit.