“Cops” in extortion scandal denied bail for lying about their ages

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By Paul Katanda

One of the suspects who got arrested on allegations of extorting US$200 from Ministry of Information and Communications Technology director, Beaulah Chirume, gave a false name, which belongs to a 10-year-old, it has emerged.

The suspect is the one who was identified as Cleopas Matamba, but his real name was not disclosed in court.

He is jointly charged with two Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officers, Sinikiwe Phiri (36) and  bogus cops Pirate Mazarire (38) and Passmore Tsodzo (46).

The development has resulted in the quartet being denied bail by Harare Magistrate, Yeukai Dzuda.

The magistrate also denied the quartet bail on grounds that they were caught driving an unregistered vehicle.

They will be back in court on May 13 2022.

According to court papers, on April 6, Chirume was driving along 7th Street from Sam Levy, where she was coming from withdrawing money,  when she realised that she was being followed by a Toyota Wish.

Out of fear, she drove to a nearby furniture shop, where she was followed by the alleged culprits, who demanded US$300 from her for allegedly crossing a red traffic light at State House.

She tried to negotiate with them but  they did not listen and allegedly stole US$17 and ZW$200 after she had given them US$175.

The accused then allegedly ordered her to drive her car due west along Samora Machel.