Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
TWO men from Chitungwiza who claimed that their sister’s vehicle had been wrongly seized by police as part of proceeds of fraudulently gotten money learnt it the hard way after an ill-advised attempt to grease the palms of a senior Rusape prosecutor with $200 to secure its release backfired, leading to their arrest.
The two suspects, Maroto Musiiwa (39) of House Number 7818 Unit K Chitungwiza and Abisha Muziti, of House Number 7853 Unit K Chitungwiza are facing charges of contravening Section 170 (b) (1) of the Criminal Law and Codification Reform Act Chapter 9:23 which makes bribery a penalised offence.
The two allegedly approached the Officer-in-Charge, CID Rusape, Detective Inspector Simon Nyamupfukudza to link them to the Rusape district prosecutor Mr Tirivanhu Mutyasira and gave him $200 bribe to release the vehicle to their sister. The two have since appeared before provincial magistrate Mr Shane Kubonera, who granted them $50 bail each.
They were ordered to reside at their given addresses until the finalisation of the matter, not to interfere with State witnesses and to report once per month at Chitungwiza Police Station.
It was the State case led by Ms Event Dhliwayo that on May 11, 2018, one Moses Mitswiri was arrested by detectives in Rusape in connection with a USD$20 000 fraud case.
A Nissan Caravan vehicle (registration numbers AEQ 6326) was then recovered as part of the prejudiced money.
“On June 8, 2018, the two accused persons and the wife of Moses Mutswiri came to Rusape claiming that the Nissan Caravan vehicle belonged to the wife and wanted it to be released to her.
The Officer-in-Charge, CID Rusape, Detective Inspector Simon Nyamupfukudza told them that the vehicle cannot be released because it was part of the exhibit in Moses Mutswiri’s case that was pending at Rusape Magistrates’ Court.
“Before leaving the suspects asked for Det Insp Nyamupfukudza’s contact details and were given. On June 9, 2018, around 1000hrs, Det Insp Nyamupfukudza received a phone call from Maroto Musiiwa asking to be linked to any prosecutor at Rusape Magistrates’ Court to facilitate the release of the vehicle to their sister,” said Ms Dhliwayo.
Det Insp Nyamupfukudza, after consulting his colleagues contacted Mr Mutyasira and briefed him on the matter and agreed to trap the suspects.
“A trap authority was sought and granted by the Officer Commanding Rusape District Chief Superintendent Garikayi Gwangwawa. Maroto Musiiwa continued to call Det Insp Nyamupfukudza and was told they came meet Mr Mutyasira at their offices at Rusape Urban Police Station.
The two then drove to Rusape and were introduced to Mr Mutyasira in Det Insp Nyamupfukudza’s office,” said Ms Dhliwayo.
She said two other details – Det Asst Inspector Zulu and Sergeant Muwowo were on observation in an armoury room in that office.
Det Insp was also recording the whole conversation on his mobile device.
“Immediately after finishing counting and handing over the $200 to Mr Mutyasira, the observing team emerged from the adjacent room and arrested Musiiwa and Muziti,” said Ms Dhliwayo.