By Masvingo Correspondent
TWO police officers station in Gutu have appeared in court facing criminal abuse of office charges after they cleared stolen cattle without following procedure.
Vincent Tinarwo, 32, and Rodery Makuro, 27, pleaded not guilty to the the charges when they appeared before Gutu magistrate Victor Mahamadi.
They were remanded out of custody on free bail to 7 February for trial.
Prosecutor Ratchel Murape told the court that on 29 December last year, Tinarwo was on duty at the Gutu police station when he received a call from one Kudzai Murima who wanted to clear his cattle.
Court heard that Murima introduced himself as a cattle buyer claiming he had just bought seven cattle from Mazongororo village in the same district.
Murima and Tinarwo then teamed up and went to meet Murima in Hwiru area where they cleared the cattle in the absence of the alleged seller, Jonathan Mangoro.
Three cows were cleared on the day and were ferried to Masvingo for slaughter at a local abattoir.
Two days later, the court heard that the same officers again received another call from Murima and told them he had acquired more cattle from Mangoro that needed to be cleared.
Court heard that the officers again met Murima in Hwiru where they cleared four, again without following proper procedure in terms of police stock clearance.
However, their luck ran out when seven villagers from Gutu Mission made a report to the police that they were missing their cattle and investigations with a local abattoir led to the discovery of four cattle that Murima had just brought for slaughter.
Further investigations revealed that Murima had fraudulently acquired a stock clearance form and implicated the two police officers leading to their arrest.