By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
OFFICER commanding police in Mashonaland West province, Commissioner Conneli Dube, who faces allegations of obstructing the course of justice, is languishing in remand prison after a local magistrate denied him bail.
Provincial magistrate, Ruth Moyo denied Dube bail Wednesday, arguing the senior police officer could interfere with witnesses, among other reasons.
Following his surprise arrest by Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officers, Dube appeared Tuesday before the same court for initial remand, and the matter was rolled over to Wednesday for determination of bail.
He is set to return to court on October 6, 2021, for routine remand.
Dube is accused of attempts to shield four Criminal Investigation Department (CID) officers, Detective Assistant Inspector Moses Million, Detective Assistant Inspector Newton Musende, Detective Sergeant Never Muchekawaya and Detective Constable Justice Mapfanya, who are facing charges of extorting money from one Washington Ongorani.
The police commissioner allegedly withheld the criminal docket for the four, thereby contravening Section 184 (1)(a) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act chapter 9:23.
Prosecuting, Teveraishe Zinyemba averred Dube committed the crime on February 13 this year, when he allegedly withheld the docket under ZRP Chinhoyi Central CR 48/02/21.
The docket was prepared by Chief Inspector Elymas Silivani, who proceeded with it to court under prosecutor reference number A225/21.
The court further heard that on March 12, 2021, a public prosecutor returned the docket to the police station with instructions for the investigating officer to return it on March 19, 2021.
The accused, the court heard, instructed one Superintendent Ruwanda to bring the docket to his office, before ordering him to ignore the instruction from the public prosecutor.
The top cop is also said to have ordered Superintendent Ruwanda to keep the docket locked in the district office’s safe until further instructions.
The then Officer Commanding Makonde District, Chief Superintendent Elliot Magomo, the court further heard, approached the accused to inquire why dockets were being kept under lock and key, prompting the accused to claim that it was a directive from his superiors.
On May 13, Magomo wrote to Dube advising him of a complaint from Ongorani who queried why his case was taking too long, but Dube took no action.
The State opposed the bail application on the basis that the accused was a flight risk and was also likely to abscond and interfere with witnesses.
ZACC’s senior investigations officer, Patrick Madiye argued if granted bail, Dube could influence or intimidate some of the witnesses who were his subordinates.
Madiye also told the court that the accused had influenced the transfer of two senior officers from the province.
In his bail application, Dube had contended he was not familiar with witnesses and that he would not abscond after surrendering his passport.