Two regional prosecutors and a police officer were this week arrested on allegations of extorting $200 from an accused person who is appearing at the magistrates’ courts facing rape charges.
Cuthbert Mukandire and Editor Mavuto, both regional prosecutors, were arrested together with Constable Memory Munyimo of Dzivaresekwa Police Station following a trap set by the police.
The trio’s target victim George Chiroodza reported the matter to the police who later set up the trap that allegedly caught the court officials and the police officer red-handed.
Mukandire and Munyimo appeared before Harare magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi Wednesday facing extortion charges. They were remanded in custody to today when their bail application is expected to be heard.
Chiroodza told NewsDay in an interview Wednesday that he gave Mukandire $200 in the presence of his brother and a police officer whom he mistook for his relative.
“I gave him the money in the presence of my brother and a police officer,” Chiroodza said. “I caused their arrest after they continually demanded cash from me saying the matter would be withdrawn. I gave Mukandire $200 initially before Munyimo demanded another $150 which they shared in my presence.
“I was told there was no evidence against me and I agreed with them because I did not commit the offence.”
Chiroodza said when he came to court last Friday he was made to pay $50 for state papers by Mukandire who told him to look for more money citing complications in the matter.
“I realised I was being milked and I informed my mother who told me to report to Deputy Commissioner General Innocent Matibiri, who in turn authorised the trap,” Chiroodza said.
Contacted for comment police spokesperson Inspector James Sabau could not confirm the arrest of the trio, saying he was not yet aware which police department was dealing with the matter.
“I am not aware of that case because CID departments are many within the police force,” said Sabau. “I shall find out and if I get anything I will let you know.”
Chief law officer Chris Mutangadura, however, confirmed the arrest of the trio saying Mukandire and Munyimo would appear before the courts but charges against Mavuto had been withdrawn for lack of evidence.
“The two prosecutors were arrested together with a police officer but there is no evidence against one prosecutor who has since been released,” Mutangadura said.
Chiroodza is appearing at the Harare magistrate courts on allegations of raping two minors after allegedly showing them pornographic material sometime last year.
The matter was supposed to proceed to trial on Tuesday but was postponed following the arrest of the prosecutors.