Four police officers have appeared separately before Harare Magistrates court after sharing US$70 000 and jewellery worth $10 000 they had seized from a woman accused of theft.
The woman, Viola Mutumbu of Belevedere allegedly stole the money and jewellery from her husband’s employer, The Herald reports.
Viola Mutumbu (25) appeared before magistrate Mrs Yeukai Dzuda charged with unlawful entry into premises in aggravating circumstances.
The state’s case:
Prosecutors alleged that on July 2 at around 6 30pm, Sheekhar Ashokrap Sankpal left his place of residence in the company of Mutumbu’s husband, Prince Fainoza.
Fainoza is employed as a general worker and driver by Sankpal.
Following the duo’s departure, Mutumbu went into the house where she forcibly opened doors using a metal bar and stole a portable metal safe containing cash amounting to US$70 000 and jewellery worth US$10 000 and hid the loot outside.
On the following day at around midnight, Sankpal and Fainoza returned home and discovered that the safe was missing.
A report was made at ZRP Milton Park.
Mutumbu phoned her brother-in-law, Chriswell Fainoza whom she gave the safe for safekeeping.
Thieving cops arrive:
On July 8, Detectives from CID Highlands, Edward Mateta, Tinashe Matongo, Princes Mavis Matikiti, and Costa Davison arrested Mutumbu for questioning in connection with the missing safe.
Mutumbu allegedly revealed that she had given Chriswell the safe for safekeeping.
Mateta, Matongo, Matikiti and Davison then unlawfully released Mutumbu from their custody before they allegedly went on to break the safe and stole US$70 000 and jewellery.
The four shared the money amongst themselves and gave Chriswell Fainoza US$4 000 as his share.
Upon hearing of the transaction, Prince Fainoza then reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the quartet.
They were then taken to court and charged with criminal abuse of office as public officers.
They were not asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje, who remanded them in custody to today for bail ruling.
The State led by Mr Ngonidzashe Kaseke told the court that there was overwhelming evidence, as the detectives were seen breaking the safe.
He also told the court that Chriswell Fainoza will testify that he saw the four breaking the safe.
Through their lawyer, the quartet denied stealing the money adding that the charges were created by another police officer only identified as Chidyamudungwe, whom they accused of trying to protect his relative Mutumbu in the matter.
Mateta, Matongo, Matikiti and Davison claim that the money could have been stolen by Mutumbu or could have been lost through a robbery.