A ROGUE cop based at the Bulawayo Central Police Station allegedly opened a side hustle where he would demand money to illegally release impounded goods.
Apparently business was so good that Prosper Mazokera (36) diversified into more crime, sometimes pretending to be a Vehicle Inspection (VID) or passport office official.
He would demand bribes claiming he could facilitate speedy acquisition of passports and drivers licences.
To add onto his growing resume of behaviour unbecoming of an officer, Mazokera allegedly collected money but would leave scores of his “clients” whistling in the wind as he never delivered on his illicit promises.
Last year, Mazokera was arrested after he allegedly duped his former workmate and a student at the National University of Science and Technology (Nust) of US$1 800 and US$2 500 in a failed gold deal.
It is not yet clear how many people the dastardly cop conned as victims are still coming forward after his arrest last week.
So far eight people have reported how Mazokera allegedly fleeced them.
A source close to investigations said the wayward officer was arrested after he defrauded a vendor, Opah Chavunduka (38).
“Police from the Licence Inspectorate Department confiscated her wares as she was selling without a hawker’s licence.
“The following day Mazokera allegedly approached and said he could recover her goods if she paid him US$390.
“He told her that her goods would be auctioned and out of desperation, she sourced the money and surrendered it to him. Mazokera told her to wait for him outside the charge office before he disappeared,” said the source.
After waiting for a long time, Chavunduka realised she had been shafted and reported the incident to the police.
The source said sometime in September this year, immaculately clad in a police uniform with razor-sharp creases, Mazokera went to the VID depot in Bulawayo and met Ellen Mbono (46) who told him that her car had been impounded.
He demanded US$300 to facilitate the release of the car and Mbono paid him.
“He told her to wait but he disappeared, never to return,” said the source.
Sometime in October this year, Mazokera met an unnamed man at the Registry Offices in Bulawayo and told him he could speedily get him a passport for US$170.
As was his known modus operandi, Mazokera disappeared and he switched off his cell phone after getting the money.
When it dawned on the man that he had been hoodwinked, he reported the incident to the police.
Sometime last month, Mazokera met Joseph Dube at the Registry Offices in Bulawayo while he was queuing to get a passport and told him that he could assist him as he was attached there.
Dube fell for the trap and he gave him US$120 and R200. Dube reported the matter to the police after Mazokera disappeared with the money.
Sometime this month, Mazokera met Joel Dekeya at the Registry Offices in Bulawayo again and told him that he could assist him to get a passport.
He demanded US$130.
Soon after, he approached Ndema Lunga and Mlungisi Mbangeni after telling them he could get them urgent passports for US$140 each.
Crooked as ever, Mazokera vanished after collecting the monies and the trio reported the incidents at Bulawayo Central Police Station.
Having perfected his villainous art, Mazokera was now on song, ripping-off everything that moved.
He swindled Phethangani Sibanda of US$190 using the same method.
Efforts to get a comment from National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi were fruitless.
However, Mazokera is expected to appear in court next week.