Five traffic cops in 295 theft counts, trial starts next Monday

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FIVE police officers from Avondale station who were arrested last month after being caught with duplicate ticket books face 295 criminal abuse of office charges, a Harare court heard on Wednesday.

The five are Romeo Chipokosa, 32, Loyd Makuni, 31, 31, Takundanashe Magombi, 26, Claudias Mazvimba, 35, and Blessmore Mushayahwaro 30.

They appeared in court on Wednesday and their case was postponed to May 9 for trial.

Mazvimba also has a fresh charge of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer after he pestered a motorist to pay a debt of $20 as spot fine before pocketing the money and converting it to personal use.

He faces 100 while Chipokosha has 51 counts.

Mushayhwaro is answering to 48 counts, Makuni 44 and Magombi 43 counts.

Separately, each of them pocketed between $900 and $2 000 after illegally collecting spot fines.

They appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba.

They are out of custody on $50 bail each.

According to court papers, the accused obtained fake Z69J books which resembled genuine books in colour and serial numbers.

They would allegedly go on the road and demand cash from motorists and would give them fake tickets.

It is alleged they would only accept cash transaction and would pocket their loot on a daily basis.

To conceal their offence, it is alleged, they would submit the fake copies as completed dockets to their authorities for closure and filing.

The offence came to light after Mazvimba and Mahwaro were caught with the fake ticket books by their superiors following a tip off.

It is alleged they implicated their accomplices who were later apprehended.

Sebastin Mutizirwa prosecuted.