Police officer steals vehicle registration plates from President’s office, sells to suspect

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By Staff Reporter

A police officer stationed at CID Gutu, Chancellor Nathan Garikayi is facing criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly stole number plates from a government owned building in Braeside before selling them.

Garikayi, 36, appeared before Harare magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa also charged with theft.

He was granted US$200 bail and will be back in court on December 8 for routine remand.

The State is alleging Garikayi and his accomplice, Gasa Mukuta, who is still at large, broke into the President’s Department sometime this year and made off with number plates.

Garikayi later sold the plates to Blessing Katsatse for US$2 000.

Katsatse reportedly affixed them to his Toyota Fortuner, which is believed to have been smuggled into the country from South Africa.

Police officers investigating the cases of smuggled cars later received a tip which reportedly led them to the recovery of the stolen number plates from Katsatse.

The court further heard that Garikayi also went on to commit another crime by releasing a suspect, Tatenda Garvin Chigumbura (already out on bail) whom he arrested for purchasing a motor vehicle that had been blacklisted by the Central Vehicle Registry.

Garikayi did not impound Chigumbura’s vehicle as he was supposed to do.

In March 2023, Garikayi then supplied Chigumbura with a third number plate and registration number plate belonging to the President’s Office which he affixed to his motor vehicle.

“On 28 September 2023, information was received by the Police leading to the arrest of Chigumbura who implicated the accused as the one who had supplied the registration plates.”

After Chigumbura’s arrest, the police reportedly managed to impound the smuggled motor vehicle and recover the fraudulently affixed set of number plates.

An allegedly fraudulently obtained registration book of the motor vehicle and another set of registration plates were also recovered.

The State is claiming that Garikayi’s actions were contrary to his duties as a public officer.