LUPANE — A former police officer accused of defrauding motorists of $95, had his case withdrawn before plea on Thursday due to lack of evidence.
Report by Staff Reporter
Tobias Kuvarega (39) of Pelandaba in Bulawayo was not asked to plead to fraud charges when he appeared before Lupane magistrate Takudzwa Gwazemba.
The magistrate withdrew the case before plea and advised Kuvarega that the case would proceed by way of summons.
This came amid revelations that police in Lupane, who had been expected to bring evidence concerning the matter to court since April this year, indicated they were still making investigations.
In his warned and cautioned statement Kuvarega had indicated that he knew nothing about the fraud case, but was aware that he was wanted for deserting his job.
He said he left the job after the authorities tried to transfer him to Victoria Falls.
“I applied for the reversal of the transfer, but they turned me down and I decided to quit the job,” Kuvarega said.
“I went to South Africa where I stayed for some time before I came back and enrolled at the United College of Education (UCE) to train as a teacher.”
He said police officers came to UCE and recorded statements on his desertion case, not fraud, and they knew of his whereabouts.
He could not therefore be termed a fugitive.
Allegations were that between September 16 and December 13 2010 Kuvarega, who was attached to the Lupane Traffic Police section defrauded motorists of the sum of $95 using a fake police deposit fine receipt book.
He allegedly committed the crime on six different occasions while manning a roadblock along Bulawayo-Victoria Falls Road.
The alleged offence came to light after one of the victims was re-arrested by other policemen and went on to produce the fake receipts.
Kuvarega is alleged to have deserted the police force as the net closed in on him.
He was only arrested on April 3 this year.