BY Richard Muponde
A SENIOR police officer and his subordinate were arrested in Shurugwi on Saturday after they released a gold ore theft suspect nabbed during the ongoing Operation Chikorokoza Chapera.
According to a leaked police memo, one Inspector Banga and his junior, Constable Zhou were on assignment on Saturday at Show Mining Claims in Shurugwi.
During the operation, they arrested Patrick Maredza who had fled from them in an earlier raid driving an unregistered Honda Fit car.
They searched him and his vehicle and discovered 200kg of gold ore and ZW$4 000. Their boss, Chief Superintendent Tom ordered Banga and Zhou to escort Maredza to Show Business Centre and the impounded vehicle.
The pair, together with other police officers Constable Chipato and Kabvundura escorted him to the business centre.
On arrival, Zhou advised Banga that Maredza was offering a ZW$10 0000 bribe for his release.
Banga allegedly ordered him to facilitate the release.
Zhou is said to have advised his colleagues to offload the gold ore which was in Maredza’s vehicle and put it in Banga’s vehicle.
Maredza handed US$300 to Zhou and was released.
The offence came to light when Tom returned to Shurugwi Police Station and wanted to account for Maredza and the impounded vehicle.
He phoned Banga to inquire about Maredza and the vehicle’s whereabouts.
However Banga in turn texted him back allegedly advising him that his share of the bribe was ready for collection, leading to their arrest.
The US$300 was recovered and Maredza re-arrested.