3 cops up for defeating course of justice, extortion

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BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
THREE police officers based in Harare were recently arrested, and charged with extortion and trying to block the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) from arresting their colleague.

Lameck Matsa (37), from Warren Park yesterday appeared before magistrate Yeukai Dzuda to answer to an extortion charge. Bail ruling is expected today.

His two workmates, Tendai Blessing Joniso (34) and John Mapurisa (31) also appeared before the same magistrate charged with defeating the course of justice after they tried to stop Zacc officials from arresting Matsa.

Zaac officials were injured during the melee.

Allegations are that on March 8 this year, the complainant Rodney Makwena had his Toyota Hiace vehicle impounded for pirating by two Warren Park police officers who were in civilian clothes and in a civilian white Mercedes Benz vehicle along Lyton Road.

The accused persons then demanded US$220 from the complainant so that they could release his vehicle.

The impounded vehicle was not recorded in the station exhibit book as per requirement and the battery of the vehicle was removed and placed in the Mercedes Benz vehicle belonging to the accused.

On March 9 at around 9am, the complainant called Matsa and negotiated to pay US$60 from US$220, but he refused. They later agreed on US$100.

The complainant then reported the matter to Zacc.

Matsa invited the complainant to his office at Warren Park Police Station to make the payment.

On March 10, the complainant went to the police station with a team of Zacc officials who executed a trap.

The accused came out to get the US$100 which had been marked to trap him.

The complainant was ordered to pay $1 000 at the police station so that he can be allowed to get his vehicle.When the accused placed the money inside his pocket, the Zacc officials pounced on him and identified themselves.

They searched him, recovered the money and arrested him.

While they were handcuffing him, Joniso and Mapurisa tried to stop the Zacc officials from arresting him.The pair was also arrested.

On March 11, Matsa visited the Zacc offices with his lawyer and he was detained.

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