BEITBRIDGE – Seventeen Police officers assigned on Operation No to Border Crime were arrested in Beitbridge on Tuesday after they allowed a haulage truck laden with smuggled goods to pass from Beitbridge to Bulawayo.
They appeared before Beitbridge magistrate Magistrate Vavariro Gabi this morning.
The State represented by Tawanda Chigavazira said on December 2, the haulage truck, towing two trailers was allowed to pass through the border post without paying duty to Zimra. It was then also allowed to pass three Police roadblocks, the Northern Gate at the Border and Makhado and Bhangale Turnoff along Bulawayo Road without a Zimra declaration letter.
Insiders told The Mirror that the driver of the haulage truck Tendai Kavhu (38) is claiming that he paid bribes to cops, CIO and Army officers manning each of those three roadblocks in order to be allowed passage.
Ironically all the officers are drawn from different stations throughout the country as a special force to stamp out corruption at the border.
There are now a lot of questions as to why soldiers and members of the CIO who are alleged to also be involved were not arrested.
The Mirror is also informed that Kavhu was only arrested at Police Roadblock near Bulawayo after he complained that he no longer had money to pay further bribes and got into arguments with the Police.
Insiders said he paid more than US$5 000 in bribes from the border right through the three roadblocks.
Magistrate Gabi granted the suspects $50 000 bail and those who had no lawyers were remanded in custody to December 13, 2021.
The truck had various groceries including washing powder and biscuits.
The court heard that Kavhu engaged agents Albert Mapfumo and Lawrence Jomo to facilitate smooth passage without paying duty. Mapfumo gave Kavhu a gate pass and transit coupon expiring on December 15 without any declaration papers for the goods.
Eleven of the Police officers are represented by Julius Maphosa of Masawi and Partners and they all got bail and will come back to court on January 18 2022. Six Police officers who did not have representation were remanded in custody.
Those who were granted bail include Mercy Gapara (42) of Murehwa ZRP, Paul Chamunorwa Chiwawa (41) of Chivhu, Aleck Mujakachi (32) of Murehwa ZRP, Nyaradzo Nyamaropa (38) of Goromonzi, Farisisai Jamela (34) of Marondera, Levenia Chimunda (41) of Murehwa, Dunmore Sachiwo (34) of Mutawatawa ZRP, Victor Chirondani (36) of Zvishavane,
Trymore Mudhakwa (40) from Harare, Colleen Bvumirai (34) from Harare and Lloyd Makanda (34) of Macheke camp. They were ordered to report every Friday between 6am and 6pm at their nearest Police stations and not to interfere with state witnesses.
Those who are going to look for legal representation include Sithembile Mugwagwa of Marondera ZRP, Berrlyle Matare (31) of Marondera, Tawanda Mushwayo (32) of Chikurubi, Norman Chahuruva (33) of Old Marimba, Washington Mukono (32) of New Highfields camp and Kundai Mazadza (30) of Buchwa camp.
After its interception near Bulawayo, Zimra was called in and it is then that it was the established that the goods had no declaration papers from Zimra.
The goods and truck with its trailers were seized by Bulawayo ZIMRA and the value prejudiced to the customs duty is yet to be ascertained.https://masvingomirror.com