By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
A CHINHOYI magistrate has set the trial date for Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer commanding Mashonaland West province, Assistant Commissioner Coneli Dube, who is facing criminal abuse of office charges.
Dube appeared in court Wednesday at the Chinhoyi Court Complex where provincial magistrate, Ruth Moyo pencilled October 20, 2021, as the date trial is expected to commence.
He is on $30 000 bail.
Among his bail conditions, Dube was ordered not to interfere with witnesses, and to reside at ZRP Tomlinson Depot until finalisation of the case.
He was also ordered to report once a week on Fridays at ZRP Highlands Police Station.
The top police officer is being charged with one count of criminal abuse of office.
The state case, led by Review Nikisi is that on February 13, 2021, Detective Assistant Inspector (DAI) Moses Million, DAI Newton Musende, Detective Sergeant Never Muchekayawa, and Detective Constable Justice Mapfanya, who are members of CID Law and Order Chinhoyi, were arrested for criminal abuse of duty after allegedly extorting money from Washington Ongorani.
A criminal docket under ZRP Chinhoyi Central CR 48/02/21 was compiled by Chief Inspector Elymas Silivani, who sent it to court for trial on February 16, 2021, and the prosecutor’s reference number A225/21 was opened.
On March 2, one public prosecutor only identified as Gutu and stationed at Chinhoyi Magistrates Court returned the docket to the police station with particular instructions.
The prosecutor also instructed the investigating officer to bring back the docket to court, on or before March 19 for further management.
However, on March 15 this year, Dube instructed one Superintendent Ruwanda to bring the dockets to his office, where he then ordered him to ignore the instruction from the public prosecutor and forced him to lock away the docket in the district office safe.
On the same day, Chief Superintendent Elliott Magomo was informed of the shenanigans and confronted Dube on why the docket had been locked away instead of being returned to court for prosecution.
Dube claimed to Magomo he was getting instructions to do so from a higher authority.
Consequently, the court heard Ongorani raised complaints about the manner in which the case was being managed.
On May 13, Magomo wrote a letter to Dube informing him of Ongorani’s complaint and reminding him of the deadline given by the public prosecutor which had lapsed.
Dube responded to the effect that there was no need for any action to be taken and the junior officer had to comply with his instructions.
The court further heard when Dube withheld the docket, he acted contrary and inconsistent with his duties as a public official.
He allegedly showed favour to Million, Musende, Muchekayawa, and Mapfanya while disenfranchising Ongorani.