By Bulawayo Correspondent
A BULAWAYO magistrate Thursday jailed two Bulawayo City Council (BCC) police officers three years each for extorting US$2 from illegal vendors.
The cops asked vendors for the money so they could return their seized merchandise.
Magistrate Tawengwa Sangster convicted Musolina Moyo (49) and Sipho Mdlovu (47) of three counts of criminal abuse of duty as public officers in violation of section 174 (1) (e) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.
Magistrate Tawengwa sentenced Moyo and Ndlovu to 26 months in jail after 10 months were suspended for five years on condition that they do not, within that period, commit a similar offence.
Appearing for the state, Concilia Ncube told the court that on August 20 last year at around 7:50am, Moyo and Ndlovu were on duty at corner George Silunduka Street and 5th Avenue in the city centre when they confronted one Eliah Machichamire, a vendor operating at an undesignated area.
Ncube told the court that the convicts arrested Mandichamire before demanding US$2 from him in exchange for his release.
“An hour later, the two municipal police officers approached Nicholas Zinyengere and arrested him for a similar offence before confiscating his wares. They demanded ZW$100 before releasing his wares,” said Ncube.
On the same day again at around 9am, the prosecutor told the court that the accused approached Tawanda Shonhe, another vendor selling his wares at an undesignated. They demanded a bribe of ZW$100 from the complainant.
A report was made at Bulawayo Central Police station leading to the arrest of the accused. One of the accused Ndlovu was found with R390, US$28 and ZW$885 local while R12 was found from Moyo.
The court also established that the convicts were in the habit of demanding bribes from several illegal vendors in the city on daily basis.