TWO police detectives appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court yesterday charged with criminal abuse of office after they took bribes to conceal the theft of Presidential farming inputs.
Nelson Chinembiri (36) and Maxwell Mukono (34), who are both stationed at Marondera Criminal Investigation Department, appeared before magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa, who remanded them to today for bail application.
Allegations are that on October 24 this year, Diana Dune, an Agritex officer in Macheke, was issued with 75 x50kg bags of Compound D fertiliser and 75x10kg bags of maize seed at Timbermills Grain Marketing Board (GMB) in Macheke.
The inputs were issued under the Presidential inputs scheme and were meant to be distributed to farmers in ward 34, Macheke.
It is alleged that instead of taking the inputs to ward 34, Dune connived with Solomon Makaka and sold the fertiliser to Maxwell Takawira, a local businessman.
The State alleges that on November 3, the accused persons received information about the theft of the fertiliser and proceeded to Munamba business centre, where they found the 75x50kg bags of fertiliser at Takawira’s shop.
Instead of seizing all the fertiliser, the duo demanded a bribe to cover up for the theft.
Takawira allegedly gave the accused persons US$500.
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Chinembiri and Mukono only seized 20x50kg bags and left behind 55x50kg bags.
The accused persons then told Takawira to move the remaining 55 bags to a secure place to conceal evidence of the theft.
It is alleged that on November 4 and 5, the duo arrested Makaka and Dune and took them to Marondera Magistrates Court for remand placement.
It is alleged that later during the same week, the accused persons met Takawira at N Richards shops in Marondera and demanded more money and they were given US$100.
The State alleges that on a different occasion, the accused persons met Takawira at Marondera Post Office and they were given US$130.
In total, they received US$730 from Takawira.
It is alleged that on November 14, Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers received a tip-off about the incident and went to Munamba business centre to investigate.
The Zacc officers recovered the remaining 55 bags from Takawira.