By Tinashe Mungazi
Two Matabeleland North highway patrol police officers who were facing abuse of office charges for allegedly receiving a $5 bribe from a bus conductor have been acquitted.
The two officers, Nomsa Masinire (30) of ZRP Victoria Falls camp and Manas Mbano (39) of Makwika village in Hwange, together with Mazithulela Moyo (43) of Number 1 village were on
Monday acquitted by Hwange provincial magistrate Godfrey Ntando Dube, who ruled that the State had failed to establish a prima facie case against the trio.
Masinire and Mbano, both highway patrol officers, were facing “criminal abuse of duty as a public officer”, while Moyo, a bus conductor at Makabongwe Transport, was charged with bribery.
“No evidence to prove the essential elements of the case was given by the State. It was a single witness case in which there was no form of collaboration. The single witness’ testimony did not show or give the essential elements needed (to) prove a case beyond reasonable doubt,” Dube ruled.
“The court has no choice, but to find accused persons not guilty and acquitted.”
The trio, who pleaded not guilty, had applied for discharge at the close of the State’s case, arguing that they had no case to answer.
Moyo, through his lawyer Givemore Mvhiringi of Mvhiringi and Associates, denied ever bribing the police officers, arguing that he had no reason to because his bus documents were in order.
Vumizulu Mangena represented the State.