INVESTIGATIONS into the roadblock loot saga where a Beatrice girl allegedly picked up $2 000 believed to be police bribe money from a rubbish pit deepened this week amid reports that senior officers from the traffic police department summoned the girl and her parents to their Harare office for questioning.
BY TAPIWA ZIVIRA
Ten-year-old Nodia Gozho, who was in the company of her mother Tendai Nkonde (31), allegedly picked a plastic bag with wild fruits and bank notes amounting to $2 000 from a rubbish pit a few metres from a police check point near Manyame Bridge along Harare-Masvingo Road and the two vanished with “the loot” to their Gilston Farm homestead about three kilometres away. The cops followed and allegedly harassed the family members before taking all the money, including $132 that belonged to Nkonde and her husband James Gozho.
After Beatrice Police Station member-in-charge, who had apparently got wind of the incident, took it upon himself to investigate the matter, Nkonde said four cops came to Gilston last Saturday and informed him they were making further investigations into the matter.
“The officers said they had come from the National Traffic Headquarters in Kopje, Harare, and they took statements from me, my husband and Nodia before they went with us to the roadblock scene where they collected measurements of the distance between the roadblock site, rubbish pit and the point where we discovered the money in the plastic bag,” she said.
Nkonde said the officers summoned them to their Kopje offices on Monday.
“We spent most of our day there in what was said to be the ‘district clerk’s office’ and later in the day, we were told the investigations were not yet complete so they asked us to come back on January 21,” Nkonde said.
Efforts to get a comment from the National Traffic spokesperson Inspector Tigere Chigome were fruitless as his number was not reachable.
A visit to the Kopje offices by NewsDay did not yield results as Assistant Inspector Luckmore Chakanza refused to comment on the matter and referred all questions to National police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba and Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi Nyathi was said to be locked up in a meeting.
Last week, Charamba promised to investigate the matter thoroughly. When called for comment, Charamba confirmed investigations were going on as she had promised.
Although she did not shed more light on the progress of the probe, she said: “Like I said, police act on every case of corruption and whenever an incident takes place, we leave no stone unturned to investigate the matter.”
An officer at the traffic headquarters who declined to be named confirmed there was such a case under “intense investigation” and that the accused officers had requested for more time to prepare their defence.