By Court Reporter
A HARARE traffic cop was last week convicted for creating a fictitious ticket book and collecting fines from 104 unsuspecting motorists.
Claudius Mazvimba, who was stationed at Avondale Police station, was sentenced last Friday by Harare magistrate Francis Mapfumo who convicted him after a full trial.
The judge ordered Mazvimba to pay back the $2,000 he collected failing which he must spend 19 months in prison.
“The accused’s moral blameworthiness is very high,” said the magistrate.
“It’s unfortunate that he started at deep end (because he) is a youthful first-time offender.
“Such crimes are on rise and a clear message should be sent to the society that fraud and corruption by those entrusted with public offices will not be tolerated.”
Mazvimba had denied the allegations saying the ticket book did not belong to him.
He went on to shift the blame on his boss saying he would surrender returns to him.
The traffic cop was answering to fraud and criminal abuse of office charges.
Prosecuting, Michael Reza led evidence from detective assistant inspector Thomas Mabgwe who told court that he caught Mazvimba and his accomplices using the pink triplicate copy for their authorities to close dockets unknowingly.
Speaking ahead of sentencing, magistrate Mapfumo said it was clear that Mazvimba abused his duties and pocketed state funds.
“By crafting that book, it is clear that you did not want the money to go to government’s coffers,” said the judge.
“It’s not a coincidence that only five cops out of 50 stationed at Avondale would use the book.
“Evidence against the accused is overwhelming and cannot be disputed that he committed the offence as alleged.”
Mazvimba’s accomplices were identified as Romeo Chipokosa, 32, Llyod Makuni, 31, Takuranshe Magomba and Blesssmore Mushayahwaro, 30.
The respective trials are still ongoing.
According to the State, the cops connived and acquired a fake Z69J book that resembled the originals used in administration work.
Mazvimba and his accomplices would use the book to receipt fines paid by motorists who breached traffic regulations.
In a bid to cover up the offence, Mazvimba and Mushayahwaro would demand cash only from the motorists to avoid being detected.
They would then share the money among themselves.