By DESMOND CHINGARANDE
TWO former police officers and two other serving members of the force were arraigned before Harare magistrate Yeukai Dzuda after conning the acting Information Communication Technology ministry secretary Beulah Chirume of her US$300 after accusing her of driving through a red robot near State House.
The accused ex-cops are Cleopas Matamba (40) and Passmore Tsodzo (46), while the two other currently serving cops were named as Sinikiwe Phiri (36) and Pirate Mazarire (38) of Zimbabwe Republic Police Kuwadzana.
The quartet was remanded to today for bail application.
Allegations are that on April 6, this year at around 0900 hours, the complainant was coming from Sam Levy village where she had withdrawn her money from ZB Bank.
She was driving along 7th Street towards the central business district in her Isuzu vehicle with registration number AFN 3490 when the accused persons trailed her in a Toyota Wish vehicle with no registration number plates.
It is alleged that Chirume turned right into Samora Machel Avenue and parked her vehicle on one of the parking bays at Lifestyle furniture shop.
The accused cops also parked their vehicle on the adjacent parking bay.
Before the complainant disembarked from the vehicle, she was approached by Matamba who knocked on her driver’s door and identified himself as a member of the Central Intelligence Organization.
Matamba allegedly told the complainant that he knew that she was a director in the government, but he had come to arrest her for passing through a red robot at the State House.
The complainant insisted that she did not pass through a red robot but the accused person insisted.
Phiri further disembarked from their getaway vehicle and joined Matamba in threatening the complainant with arrest; she gave them US$300.
Matamba and Phiri then ordered the complainant out of the vehicle to talk to their accomplices whom they alleged to be their bosses. They were referring to Tsodzo and Mazarire.
The complainant proceeded to the getaway car and tried to explain to the accused persons but to no avail. The accused persons forced the complainant back to her car and Matamba occupied the front passenger seat while Phiri occupied the rear left passenger seat.
They demanded the cash and the complainant pulled her wallet from her hand bag and handed over US$ 175.00 which she gave to the accused persons.
The accused took complainant’s wallet and searched it, and took another US$17.00 and $200.00.
They ordered the complainant to drive west along Samora Machel Avenue with their getaway vehicle following behind.
Before she crossed Fifth Street, she was ordered to stop and Matamba and Phiri disembarked and got into their getaway vehicle and drove off.
The complainant later went to the ZRP Five Avenue Police Base and filed a police report.
The state alleges that Matamba has a previous robbery conviction which happened in 2014. He was also arrested twice for criminal abuse of office. Phiri and Tsodzo also have pending court cases.
The state further states that they are yet to arrest their accomplices.
There is CCTV footage that captured the accused persons committing the offence as well as witnesses to testify in the case.