FOUR Epworth-based police officers and a civilian who masqueraded as a secret service agent and extorted $150 from an alleged assault suspect, Richard Murehwa, were recently slapped with 30-month jail terms each by a Harare magistrate.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The gang leader, a civilian, Norman Nyarongwe (37), was slapped with an additional 30-month jail term for impersonating a police officer.
All the convicts will, however, serve a 20-month effective jail term each after portions of their sentences were suspended on condition of restitution and good behaviour.
Nyarongwe and Tendai Saungweme (47) were yesterday supposed to appear before High Court judge Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo for their bail pending appeal
application, but the matter failed to be heard as it did not appear on the court roll. The other convicted cops, Canaan Chuzu (51), Nyasha Chowa (48) and Chimbo Mushahama (45), are now out of custody after they were granted bail pending appeal.
According to the court papers, the incident leading to the cops’ arrest occurred on May 6 this year in Epworth outside Harare at around 11pm.
The court heard on the day in question, the five convicts proceeded to arrest Murehwa at his house for a Marondera assault case alleged to have been perpetrated in 2012. They accused Murehwa of having assaulted one Eunice Majombo.
The court heard, upon arrival they knocked on Murehwa’s door and after he responded to the knock he was immediately apprehended and Nyarongwe warned him that he was under arrest for assault. Nyarongwe then went further and demanded $150 from Murehwa or any other valuable items to buy his liberty.
At that point Murehwa’s wife, Annah Gotora, requested the convicts for permission to inform her husband’s brother Clayton Mutandwa, and after being granted the green light, she rushed to consult him and brought with her $70 which she handed over to Nyarongwe.
The bogus cop then shared the cash with his colleagues and on May 7 this year, he again contacted Murehwa demanding the balance and ordered him to make a deposit in his mobile phone account.
Nyarongwe’s persistence prompted Murehwa to seek advice from his ward councillor who later sent people to apprehend Nyarongwe over the matter and handed him to police.
Editor Mavuto appeared for the State.