FOUR police detectives reportedly assisted cornered smugglers of second-hand clothes to escape while ignoring desperate cries for help by a trapped motorist and his wife.
Informants said while the cops were haggling over how to handle the case at the accident scene, the driver of a Toyota Surf that had been involved in an accident with a UD90 truck carrying bales of clothes was trapped in the wreckage together with his wife.
The UD90 truck had been fleeing police officers when the accident occurred, The Manica Post reports.
The couple reportedly cried out for help, but got none as the smugglers were busy removing bales from the scene, while the cops were quarrelling over how to split their bribe.
Mr David Mushaikwa and his wife were only assisted some hours later, but the former died on admission at Victoria Chitepo Provincial Hospital.
Luck ran out for the cops when they were arrested a month after the accident which claimed the life of Mr Mushaikwa.
The quartet — Trouble Chivasa (43), Robson Chakanetsa (38), Yamuranayi Hove (41) and Privilege Gahadzikwa (28) — are all stationed at CID Mutare.
On Monday they were hauled before Mutare magistrate, Ms Nyasha Kuture, for contravening Section 174 (1) of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act (criminal abuse of duty).
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They were each granted $10 000 bail and asked not to interfere with State witnesses
Public prosecutor, Ms Perseverance Musukuto said the offence was committed on October 11 this year.
“At around 10pm at the 11km peg along the Mutare-Masvingo Highway, there was a traffic accident involving a Toyota Surf and a UD90 truck. The truck was carrying bales of second-hand clothes which were being offloaded into another UD90 truck by five unknown suspects,” said Ms Musukuto.
Detective Assistant Inspector Jeffias Mazambani arrived at the scene and called for back-up.
He called the four accused persons who were on standby so that they could assist him to arrest the truck driver — Cedrick Chamusareva — and seize his truck and second-hand clothes.
However, the court heard that when the four suspects arrived at the scene, they negotiated for a bribe instead of making arrests and assisting the accident victims.
The detectives drove off from the scene, leaving Det Asst Insp Mazambani alone there.
Det Asst Insp Mazambani later followed up on the suspects and found them with the alleged owner of the second-hand clothes’ bales, who had bribed them with US$60.
He then made a report, leading to the arrest of his colleagues.-Manica Post