Source: Who will police the police? | The Herald April 14, 2017
Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter
Two police officers yesterday appeared in court charged with criminal abuse of office after they allegedly stole more than $30 000 from a Zambian man they had “arrested” at a city hotel, before ordering him to return to his country.
The pair – Assistant Inspector Evidence Hanya (31) and Constable Walter Ziuchi (26), both stationed at Minerals and Border Control Unit in Harare – are said to have forced their entry into a hotel room where Voster Hampako was sleeping and forced him to check out.
They allegedly took his money amounting to $31 000 and ordered him to leave the country or risk being jailed for money laundering.
It is, however, not clear how they became aware of Hampako’s visit to the country.
The duo appeared before Ms Barbra Chimboza charged with criminal abuse of office and were remanded in custody to tomorrow for bail ruling.
Prosecutor Miss Audrey Chogumaira opposed bail.
The duo’s alleged accomplice, Clever Gadzikwa, also a police officer, is still at large. He is on suspension pending finalisation of another case which is before the courts.
The police officers were being represented by Mr Musindo Hungwe.
It is the State’s case that on April 2 this year at around 10pm, Hanya, Ziuchi and Gadzikwa went to N1 Hotel where Hampako was booked.
Upon their arrival, Gadzikwa remained in the car, while Hanya and Ziuchi went inside and asked the authorities if they could see Hampako in his room, but they were denied access.
The two cops are said to have forced their way and went to Hampako’s room, the court heard. While in Hampako’s room, the pair searched his bags and reportedly took $700, 400 Zambian kwacha and $300 in bond notes.
It is alleged that the two cops recorded only $700 in their notebooks and ordered Hampako to declare any other cash he had.
Hampako told them that he had $30 000 in his car and the pair forced him to check out of the hotel and drove to their offices.
It is further alleged that Hanya and Ziuchi took the $30 000 and threatened Hampako with a lengthy prison term if he remained in the country. He was allegedly given back 400 kwacha.
They told him he would be charged with money laundering, before asking him to sign a fake warned and cautioned statement purporting he was being charged of fraud.
They released him the following morning around 6am and gave him back his 400 Kwacha and remained with all the cash, the State alleged.
The police officers ordered Hampako to return to his country.
In a bid to conceal the crime, the officers, it is alleged, did not record Hampako’s arrest in their occurrence book.
Hampako is said to have lodged a complaint against the pair at Police General Headquarters.
Upon getting wind that a report had been made, Hanya and Ziuchi opened an enquiry reference.
Hanya then took up the case without involving the Officer-in-Charge as is the procedure, the court heard.