FOUR former police officers posed as Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) investigators and allegedly kidnapped Mutoko Rural District Council chief executive officer, Peter Sigauke, accusing him of corruption before demanding $3 000 for his freedom.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
One of the accused, Cosmas Matambudziko Vheremu (47), has approached the High Court, seeking bail after a Mutoko magistrate refused to entertain his freedom bid.
Allegations are that Vheremu, who is represented by Tawanda Takaindisa, went to Mutoko on February 7 this year together with his accomplices Moses Nyavanhu, Dentist Chimanga and Trymore Bondamakara, who are still at large.
It is alleged the quartet went to Sigauke’s home and ordered him to accompany them outside the premise, where their Toyota RunX vehicle was parked. The gang introduced themselves by showing Sigauke blue identity cards inscribed, “Anti-Corruption.”
The State alleges the gang told Sigauke he was under arrest for corrupt activities, emanating from numerous anonymous letters “their office” had received.
It is alleged they then introduced themselves to Sigauke’s wife and gave her their contact details, saying they were from Zacc Mashonaland East provincial office.
The gang confiscated Sigauke’s mobile phones and drove towards Harare despite his plea to pass through Mutoko Police Station.
While on their way to Harare, the gang demanded $10 000 to facilitate his freedom, but Sigauke insisted on going to their offices.
They parked their motor vehicle at Parirenyatwa Group of Hospitals. Sensing danger, Sigauke requested his mobile phones and contacted his wife, whom he advised to deposit $1 000 into the suspects’ three mobile money platforms. But Sigauke’s wife went to the police station to report before depositing the money.
After completing the transaction, the four drove to Samora Machel Avenue and Fifth Street before dumping Sigauke and gave him $5.
Mutoko detectives made a follow up on the case and arrested Vheremu, who was found in possession of Sigauke’s mobile phones.
He was questioned and he denied the allegations.
The detectives then went to Farm and City Horticulture Trade, where Vheremu had purchased some items using the mobile money transfer account number allegedly used to extort money from Sigauke.
Vheremu was allegedly captured on the shop’s closed circuit television monitor conducting transactions using the same mobile account number.