Ayanda Dlamini, Sunday News Reporter
A POLICE boss in Bulawayo has been arrested after he allegedly muscled his way into Ross Camp impound yard and stole a commuter omnibus that had been impounded by his colleagues for flouting Covid-19 regulations.
Chief Inspector Nkosilathi Nyathi (45) who is the officer-in-charge of ZRP Nkulumane, was arrested together with Lionel Kersha (31), the driver of the kombi after the two grabbed the vehicle from the yard before it was cleared and drove it movie style out of the gate and fled.
Even efforts to stop Nyathi and Kersha at the gate proved futile as they sped away with the vehicle soon after it was unclamped by a Bulawayo City Council employee.
The details emerged after the duo appeared before Bulawayo regional magistrate Mr Joseph Mabeza last Wednesday to answer to allegations of theft as defined in Section 113 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9.23. They also face an additional charge of defeating or obstructing the course of justice.
The duo pleaded not guilty and Mr Mabeza remanded them out of custody to Tuesday for trial. Prosecuting, Mr Jeremiah Mutsindikwa told the court that on 6 February a team from Bulawayo Central Traffic, Vehicle Examination Department and Bulawayo City Council were on a joint operation named “Undingani eTown Phase 2”, when they arrested Kersha and impounded the vehicle he was driving for various offences.
The court heard that an Assistant Inspector Munsaka booked the kombi and handed it over to Constable Mandla Moyo for safe keeping at the camp. It was also clamped by council traffic officers because it had outstanding parking tickets.
However, the same day in the afternoon, Nyathi approached Cst Moyo and advised him that he wanted to see the impounded kombi. After seeing the kombi, Nyathi and Kersha proceeded to Bulawayo City Council where the offences related to council were cleared. The court heard that the duo came back and handed over a receipt that showed that they had paid the fine at city council and wanted to collect the vehicle.
However, Cst Moyo advised the duo to also clear the vehicle with the officer in charge at Drill Hall. Instead of clearing the vehicle with the police, the duo went back to city council offices and came back accompanied by a city council vehicle.
The court heard that the driver of the city council vehicle unclamped the kombi and the two jumped in and drove away.
Cst Moyo tried to stop the duo but they sped off, disregarding pleas from police officers who were manning the yard and the gate to stop. The court heard that a report was immediately made at Mzilikazi police station and a manhunt was launched resulting in the vehicle being recovered at a house in Pumula North leading to the arrest of the duo.
The stolen vehicle was valued at US$3 000.