HomeLocal NewsSenior Inyathi cop on the run

Senior Inyathi cop on the run

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The officer-in-charge at Inyathi Police Station, Chief Inspector Muhlaba Sibanda, who is being charged with abuse of office after he allegedly arrested a villager over a gold deal that went sour, is reportedly on the run after he failed to attend court early this month.

Sibanda (49) denied the abuse of office charge when he last appeared at Nkayi Magistrates’ Court on January 10. He was remanded out of custody on free bail.

Last month, Nkayi magistrate Thabekhulu Dube transferred the matter to the Bulawayo Tredgold Magistrates’ Court where Sibanda was supposed to appear before magistrate Sherpard Mnjanja for continuation of trial on July 4.

Sibanda did not turn up for the trial, prompting Mnjanja to issue a warrant of arrest against him.

The State case is that sometime between July and August 2011, Sibanda allegedly sold fish worth R400 to the villager, Ignatius Khabo, on credit.

He later allegedly gave Khabo R600 and advised him to add the money on the R400 he owed him and buy gold for him.

A few days later, Khabo returned to Sibanda and told him he had failed to get the gold and promised to return the money later. The two allegedly agreed on an exchange rate of R1 000:$120.

Khabo later repaid $80 and promised to raise the balance.

It is the State case that on January 5, Sibanda drove a Zanu PF vehicle, registration number ABD 3562, to Khabo’s home in the company of one Albert Dowie.

On arrival, Sibanda demanded his money from Khabo, but the latter indicated he was hard up on cash at that particular moment but further pledged to settle the debt soon.

This allegedly annoyed Sibanda who immediately grabbed Khabo by the waist belt and choked him while pressing him against the vehicle, which was parked in the yard.

Khabo’s parents and wife Runia Dube then intervened and restrained Sibanda who immediately drove away.

On January 6, Sibanda allegedly drove back to Khabo’s home using the same vehicle in the company of five police officers who were all in plain clothes.

The policemen allegedly arrested Khabo’s family members and locked them up at Inyathi Police Station on allegations of assaulting a police officer.

They were, however, later released without charge.
Khabo took the matter to police in Nkayi where Sibanda was then charged with abuse of office.

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