By Bulawayo Correspondent
A senior police officer from Matabeleland North Provincial Armoury on Saturday appeared before a Bulawayo magistrate facing allegations of hiring out firearms to suspected poachers.
Inspector David Fugao (42) and his two other colleagues who were also implicated in the alleged crime appeared before magistrate Prince Ncube facing a charge of illegally possessing a dangerous weapon.
Fugao is also facing another charge of criminal abuse of office as a public officer while his co-accused Wonder Tawanda Kwaramba (33) and Francis Chaterera (39) are facing a single count each of the same charge.
According to the state, represented by Leonard Chile, police arrested a suspected poacher from Pumula East, Ame Mpala (35) at a roadblock mounted along the Bulawayo-Gwanda road after he was found in possession of a firearm without a licence.
Following the arrest, Mpala implicated Fugao leading to his arrest.
“At around 8pm on March 20, Mpala was travelling from Zvishavane to Bulawayo using a Toyota Wish together with two other passengers. Mpala was seated alone at the back seat. When they got to the roadblock, police instructed everybody to disembark with their belongings,” Chile told the court.
The prosecutor further told court that when the police visited Fugao, they found him with Kwaramba and Chaterera with firearms and ammunition which did not belong to the state at their work station.
He said more ammunition was recovered from a witness where it had been taken for safe keeping.
According to the state, property recovered from Fugao and Kwaramba included a 22 Kregeskorte riffle, a 22 Winchester rifle, 635 Micros rifle, a 22 revolver, noringo pistol, FN rifle , Special Renato Gamba revolver, a 22 Astra Revolver, a 6,53 mm Beretta pistol, a 6.35 mm Automatic Pistol, three pellet guns and various other ammunitions.
The accused, who were represented by Reliance Ndou from Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers and Kholwani Ngwenya from Mabhikwa and partners, were remanded in custody to March 25 for bail ruling.