24 months for kidnapping policeman

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A 31-year-old commuter omnibus driver was slapped with a two-year jail term for abducting a Chitungwiza municipal policeman in a bid to avoid paying a rank disc fine.

Simbarashe Sibanda kidnapped Paul Mukombera from Chitungwiza to Waterfalls after failing to provide the requested rank disc and vehicle permit.

Mukombera was later rescued by one of his superiors who tracked Sibanda down after receiving an alarm call from Mukombera, who had been taken hostage at a garage in Waterfalls.

The incident occurred on July 19 this year when Mukombera was on duty in Chitungwiza carrying out an operation that targeted commuter omnibuses without rank discs and permits.

It was not clear in State papers where Sibanda was parked when he was approached by Mukombera who requested to check his papers.

After discovering Sibanda did not have relevant papers, Mukombera boarded the vehicle and instructed Sibanda to drive to Chitungwiza municipality administration offices to pay a fine.

Instead, Sibanda disregarded the instruction and drove to his garage in Waterfalls.

Along the way, Mukombera pleaded with him to stop the car and let him out, but he refused.

The court heard Mukombera phoned his superiors and gave them directions and a follow-up was made which led to his rescue.

The matter was reported to police and Sibanda was arrested.

Passing sentence, Chitungwiza magistrate Lazini Ncube, castigated Sibanda’s conduct.

“Depriving somebody of his freedom is a very serious offence and these courts do not condone such behaviour,” Ncube said.

“You well knew that you did not have all the proper papers, hence you decided to abduct the complainant. It is not a secret that this conduct is prevalent among commuter omnibus drivers,” he added.

Sibanda will, however, serve an effective 18 months after six were suspended on condition of good behaviour.