Video: Beatrice girl (10) vanishes with $2 000 cops’ roadblock loot

83
1865
The girl's parents, Tendai Nkonde (left) and James Gozho at Gilston Farm in Beatrice. All pictures: Aaron Ufumeli

A BEATRICE family was last month reportedly harassed by traffic police after their ten-year-old daughter stumbled upon the cops’ loot stashed away in a rubbish pit and vanished with it.

REPORT BY JOHN NYASHANU/TAPIWA ZIVIRA

The cops were, on December 24, manning a roadblock along the Harare-Masvingo road near Gilstone Farm, some 40 km outside Harare.

The 10-year-old Nodia discovered the $2 000 loot hidden inside the pit while she was scavenging for “valuables” near the site of the roadblock.

The wads of banknotes were in a plastic bag that contained wild fruit (matufu) and several papers that served as a disguise.

The girl's parents, Tendai Nkonde (left) and James Gozho at Gilston Farm in Beatrice. All pictures: Aaron Ufumeli
The girl’s parents, Tendai Nkonde (left) and James Gozho at Gilston Farm in Beatrice. Pictures: Aaron Ufumeli

The sight of the wads of notes was enough to raise the superstition streak in the girl’s mother.

In an interview with NewsDay at their homestead Tendai Nkonde, Nodia’s mother said: “When I saw the wads of Rand and US dollar notes in the plastic bag, I thought they must have been left by a goblin so I told my daughter we would first go to see an Apostolic prophet to ‘vet’ and cleanse the money before we could use it.”

Watch the video below:

Little did she know at that time that the money would spell trouble with the cops.

According to the girl’s father, Jamos Gozho, the discovery of the hidden money by their daughter, on December 24 triggered their ordeal at the hands of the cops when they came to look for the vanished loot.

Children around the farming area, according to Gozho, have the tendency to rummage in and around the rubbish pits along the highway in search of “valuables”.

“After establishing that the plastic bag contained so much money, our daughter brought it home and showed her mother who took it, but neither of them informed me. My wife secured the money in her handbag in which was her own cash, about $132 which I had given her for safekeeping,” Gozho said.

The excited young girl had, however, confided to her friends about her find.

Upon realising that their money had gone, the police officers reportedly started investigating and, eventually, after interrogating farm labourers at the compound, established that Nodia had picked it up.

They tracked her down to her parents’ residence at the farm compound.

Before the girl’s mother could make out whether the money was from heaven or from a goblin, the cops, in a mean mood, were at her door looking for their loot.

“I was shocked because as soon as I arrived home, police officers in a BMW came to our compound and started harassing and assaulting anyone they met, alleging that someone had stolen their money and some ‘government papers’, ” she said.

Gozho concurred: “We saw a police highway patrol vehicle arriving at our house and the officers demanded that we hand them back the money.

“Since I had not been told anything about it, I professed ignorance over the claims that my daughter had picked up such kind of money, but then so did my wife and daughter. This infuriated the police officers and they handcuffed us before ordering us into their vehicle. All this time they were threatening us with unspecified action,” Gozho said.

An eyewitness, a neighbour of the Gozhos who only identified himself as Patson, confirmed the “arrest”: “A couple of police officers came to the Gozho homestead, and I could hear them shouting and accusing them of stealing ‘government money’ and Jamos’ wife was handcuffed and they were both taken away.”

Gozho said the family was taken to a nearby school, Christ College, where they were interrogated until his wife, admitted that she was in possession of the money.

“Shaken as she was, she handed them all the money, including the $132 that belonged to us. The police gave her $10 as a token of appreciation before leaving,” he said.

But the villagers, though in a state of shock, were convinced that there was something fishy about the cops’ behavior.

“We all smelt a rat when we saw a traffic police vehicle driving around in the compound. Yes, police officers often come here, but not from the traffic section,” said one farm labourer who refused to be identified.

A female resident at the farm who also requested not to be named weighed in saying: “What angers us is the fact that the police officers were so shameless to track down money which we suspect they received from motorists as bribe. Where is their professionalism and good standing in society?”

The disappearance of the traffic cops with the money was not the end of the drama as two days later, the Member in Charge of Beatrice Police Station, who had apparently got wind of the incident, took it upon himself to investigate the matter.

“Two days later the Member in Charge of Beatrice Police Station whom I identified as Dube came over in the company of another police officer, driving a Defender vehicle,” Gozho said.

“They asked us to accompany them to the police station where a statement was recorded from us on December 26. After that we heard nothing from them until yesterday (Sunday) when two officers driving a Toyota Corolla visited us saying they would bring back our money (the $132) today (yesterday) but up until now, they have not done so.”

Traffic police officers are not allowed to carry personal cash while on duty and are subjected to random spot checks by their superiors and the Anti-Corruption Commission in a bid to curb cases of bribery.

Contacted for comment yesterday police national spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba said she was not aware of the case and promised to investigate.

83 COMMENTS

    • Nothing new there its common knowledge what these cops do on a daily basis…just look how well-nourished they all look nxaa!!

  1. Saka Charity Charamba basa rako nderei looks like everything that you are asked of, you always say the same thing..I am not aware of it.. so what are you are of..Zanupf’s looting of the economy I guess..

  2. Ya Chokwadi ava mapurisa ehighwayboatrol vanetsa,vaka kumisa havashaye nyaya pamota yako especially vakange vasati vabata target yavo ye $2000,vanokuudza zvinhu zvausinganzwisise maererano nemota yako kuti vakunyorere ticket resport fine failer vanobva vati handei nearest police station unopaka mota yako then votora makey.Then without choice iwe you will have to look for the money. After reaching the target imwe yese yava yavo through bribes.Pliz vaChihuri tibatsirei these traffic cops kunyanya vemaBMW ava vatinzwisa.Dai mamboisa pasuspension ma sport fine.Idzi mari dzemabribe vanoviga musango hamumbowana chinhu pama visits anoitwa neve supervision kana inspection.

  3. I call upon the so called girl child network organisations to take this case up and defend this famly in court so that this little child is given her $2000 bounty back! This issue must not be allowed to evaporate into thin air like that. We wait to see and hear from not only child NGOs but from everyone concerned including Transparent Intr Zim. This famly was subjected to unnecessary torture, trauma and stress.Justice must prevail. We want to read trial proceedings in court, of thoz cops!

  4. These guys are thieves, how can they terrorise innocent pple for the money they have stolen from motorists. The public shld be educated that if they encounter such corrupt police they must contact Traffic Police PR dept – coz they publicised the cell numbers of their spokeman sometime last year on the newspaper. I took the cell numbers and at anytime they try to solicit for bride on flismy cases, i tell them that i am contact the PR dept. Right away they way they case tell u to go. I have done that at one time and if there is no case they let you go unless they have prima facie evidence.

  5. this is real evidence that the police force is involved in corrupt activities. can those from the anti-corruption committee do something please, if not i am forwarding my application for a job to the commissioner as soon as possible.

  6. This has been know to be taking place. The bosses know it. Give the family back its findings. Why would government papers be carried in a plastic bag, together with $2000.00. Its high time that we Zimbabweans take the law from the traffic police.

  7. Mbudzi inodya payaka sungirirwa.join the force and loot also.everyone is doing it even at the top.thats wy there is no action from above.spot fine will never be banished.

  8. Today the worst is happening at Makuti and in Karoi. They stop virtually every motorist and look for SOMWTHING for which to fine you. And they can fine you for continuing to travel after a puncture and you replace the punctured wheel with a spare. The charge, the spare wheel is punctured. so you must stop and mend the spare wheel also.

  9. VaMAYAYA KA! porisi yanyanya huori. i suggest the leader should have a HOTLINE number inodairwa kuoffice kwavo coz veanticorruption vacho vanongocorrutwawo

  10. You ZRP you always say the public should work with ZRP to report cases of corruption, here you have been alerted so what have you done so far about this.Its either you give that $2000.00 to the parents of the girl because no government is kept in bins.Why were you keeping it there you guys? Charity Charamba we want serousness here and answers as soon as possible. 24December, the next day was Xmas day.They wanted to fatten themselves. Oh shame on you.

  11. This is clear evidence that the highway police are very corrupt. Otherwise this is just a tip of the iceberg. A lot is happening in the highway of Zimbabwe. Ndopaunonzwa umwe munhu achiti corruption iri kukonzerwa nekuti mari yavanotambira ishoma. Its a shame! Dai government yedu iri seriou about the issue vabvunza mapurisa aya kuti mari dzekutenga makombi nekuvhura mabusiness vari kudziwana kupi chaizvo considering the pay they earn. Plse government of Zimbabwe do something about this. Tichaiteera nyaya iyi kusvika kumagumo. Disgruntled

  12. uka teerera pachirongwa paZBC unonzwa zvichinzi hapana umboo hwekuti mapurisa anehuori ;everything is fine on the roads;,if you want to stop this rubish;just say nomore spot fines,let motorists pay their fines at police stations.I know you wont say so cause you are also involved…..pane cut yevakuru ipapa…thats why these officers had to track down the 2000 $ loot they knew they;ll be in hot soop by going back and say NHASI HATINA MARI YEMUSANA YARASIKA ,,,,iwe,,?

  13. Is there merit in maintaining the spot fines in the wake of numerous cases of bribery by the man who are supposed to police and arrest the law breakers? ko kana dziri mhosva chaidzo ngadzinyorwe matickets munhu oenda kunobhadhara kupolice station. It defies logic to imagine that everyone on a journey is carrying excess cash. Is anyone policing the police? I personally was delayed for four hours husiku paChivii turn off nekuti ndakanga ndisina $20 fine (genuinely) for not having a reflective vest chete. Huori hauperi kana izvi zvemaspot fine zvikaramaba zviripo. Honai kwazvave kusvika manje. Zvinonyadzisa!

  14. Traffic police yanyanya iye akauya neidea yekuti paroadblock every plce officer anenge aneticket book ndiyani coz mamwe acho haasisiri e gvt,maticket book chaiwo haabvarurwe asi avanoshandisa vanongobvarura vachitinyorera mhosva pazvi piece…vavakushandisa maticket book kubira vemaprivate cars…

  15. The issue of spot fines should be banned forthwith as it is fuelling corruption in our country. Or i suggest cameras should be mounted on all roadblocks to monitor the goings on,or else we are further sinking deep into a bottomless corruption pit.

  16. Ever wondered how the selection for highway patrol is done? You will be shocked because these small guys will be trying to recover the money paid to the chefs for the posting . I know i was once there

  17. Ko iye akazoti i $2,000 ivo mai na baba vati mari iyi yanga yakwandisa maRands nema US$, meaning inodarika 2,000. Ngavapiwe mari yavakanonga.

  18. hev had e privilege of goin 2 developed countries hakuna chinonzi spot fines coz thats watz fueling corruption ticket ukapihwa u pay ku postoffice coz its state money kwete mahumbwe arikuitwa muno aya

  19. The traffic cops should be wired when they go on duty .so that what ever.they say is recorded .And they should give a strong enough reason for taking off the wire or else they should be penalised

  20. All police personal that are working now are not responsible even the highest ranked officers they are so corrupt . when you make a report the go socialise with that criminal and get paid

  21. mapurisa ndidzo mbavha dzacho, ndiwo maarmed robbers, oh lord just protect us, vepan pasi vazvikonewa

  22. mbavha dzachihuri idzo madzionaka,and yet the man keeps protecting them what is he gaining ??????。 pafungeiwo ipapo。

  23. There are regulations concerning found property and money. The family was supposed to take the money to the nearest police station where the report is entered into the found property register. The money in this case will be secured for a month after which if it is not claimed will be handed over to the finder. Law requires facts and not emotions. There is no layman in Law its either you know the law or you keep your opinion to yourself.

    • Wabaya dede nemumukanwa…ndekupi kwawakanhonga mari wopinda nayo mumba mako wonyarara. Vaifanira kurara mujeri mbichana for they hv exhibited thieving tendencies!

  24. The answer to all these ills to go is for Chihuri and his principal to leave office as it is said fish starts from the head. Old sekuru Robert should just vacate office for this country to move forward.

  25. If these guys r really serious about curbing corruption in zrp this is the perfect case. The officers who were on duty are knwn, farm laborers, the girl’s family, the officer in charge of Beatrice r witnesses. 1. There is no state money that can be kept in a rubbish bin. 2. Why did they pay $10 thank u. There is more evidence even when they already used the $s. Just fire them after sending them to prison.

  26. so you are saying these officers are losing their money regularly to people who reside in Gilston compound? Yesterday you had a story to the same tune, headed ‘our traffic cops and the mushroom granny’. I am in doubt with your raporting..

  27. In the eyes of the people, the police officers have a case to answer, but from a legal ppoint of view, there’s no sufficient evidence to prove that the Police officers obtained the money by corrupt means. The money has not been, and will not be recovered. The mere evidence that this family was harrased and gave the traffic cops their money is not enough to pprove that corruption did happen.

  28. Ku high glen/willowvale ndipopahasha chaipo.
    Sure i meet 4 road blocks for my 9kms from highfields to town everyday.
    1st. Pa southerton police gate definite
    2nd just a mere 100m after robot
    3rd pa rothmans
    4th pa mbare studio.
    Ukaita munyama panogona kuita bike pakati futi making them 5.
    Ndokudini chaiko?

  29. Each time I go to Zimbabwe,i prefer to use a kombi coz having lived in the UK, where roadblocks don’t exist.I just find driving in Zimbabwe being pretty useless.potholes and on top of that corrupt officers just make driving bad experience

  30. PLEASE GOD HELP US. NO BODY IS LISTENING TO THE VOICES OF CRYING ZIMBABWEANS. WE ARE SUFFERING IN THE NAME OF LIBERATION STRUGGLE AND BLACK MAJORITY RULE. LOTS OF PEOPLE ARE CRYING OF HUNGER. MOST PEOPLE ARE BEING PERSECUTED. WHAT CRIME HAVE WE COMMITTED GOD THAT WE CANT BE HEARD. HOSPITALS ARE NOT PROPERLY EQUIPPED BUT OUR DEAREST LEADERS GET BEST MEDICINES FROM THE WHITES. SCHOOLS ARE PATHETIC TO THE EXTENT THAT OUR CHILDREN SHARE THE ONLY AVAILABLE PAGE OF AN OLD TEXT BOOK. THE CHILDREN OF OUR LEADERS ATTEND TO THE BEST SCHOOLS OF THE WORLD. WE NO LONGER HAVE PRODUCTS PRODUCED LOCALLY TO THE EXTENT THAT WE ARE BUYING TWO PRODUCTS AT A TIME JUST IN CASE. GOODS ARE EXPENSIVE. HELP US FATHER. HELP US.

  31. Why do we even bother complaining. This is the Republic of Zimbabwe which was liberated from Colonialism. Ticketing doesn’t work in Zimbabwe because 90% will never pay the fines. Spot are good if administered properly by competent people but encourage corruption. As for me, if l see a roadblock….l run for dear life despite driving a good car & licenced for more than 15yrs because you just never know what they ll charge you with. Each time you approach a roadblock, you must be prepared for a new law out of which you ll pay a fine. Come elections, people vote Zanu Pf……so stop complaining & Nikuv your way out of all our problems

  32. Nyika yose team yeBMW especially iya ine vakadzi vega nxaaaa, dzorerai mwana xmas box yake pliz.mari ye asa haisanganiswe nematufu, asi matufu ava kubhdharwawo futi pa block.i

  33. The girl picked filthy lucre and the police have the audacity to abuse this family? Chihuri this must be acted upon and Newsday please keeo the public informed on this. Obvious the mercedes benz or BMW is known and the officers are known, big enough evidence that police are looting. These police vehicle are being abused and are being used as ATMs. We want to hear from girl child netowrk how they must handle this case. As for Charity, she is just a hopeless case.

  34. If ZRP is a professional force this office in charge of Beatrice should also go because it appears he is working in cahorts with these looters. This loot shows is shared at the police station.

  35. spot fines should be stopped. it is not our fault that the police cannot follow up on those who faulter. mugabe is reading this and i dont know what he is saying about the chihuris and the corruption people are talking about day and night. see nothing hear nothing smell nothing and touch nothing. poor president.

  36. When they stop me for any traffic offence (such as overspeeding, dirty car, mulfunctioning indicator) I demand a ticket. I would rather give the money to the state than the shameless cops. Vanoidya chete kana vaine duplicate ticket books (which I suspect they have).

    Kana zviri zvaCharity Charamba haaaya, tsaona chaiyo. She discredited herself beyond repair during the run up to the July elections. Dai povo iriyo yaipromota mapurisa Charity should be demoted to an office constable, away from the public.

    Vamwewo vari kuti Chihuri should take action, pliz get real and stop dreaming.

  37. ko amaia havana kunge vaudza baba zvavakasangana nazvo sei? vaida kuzodii? kuti havana rudo nemapurisa ivava ini kikikii

  38. u spoke exactly wst i suffered at Makuti. those police are no longer officers instead they are daylight robbers, tell me how can they arrest me for a punctured spare tyre apa maoko akatosviba showing that i had charged it recently and they said i shud have mend it and where muEscapement imomo

Comments are closed.