A POLICE officer, stationed at ZRP Epworth, has appeared in court charged with extortion after he came up with a scheme for commuter omnibuses to pay US$30 weekly to ensure a smooth passage through the Chiremba Road roadblock.
The cop, Learmore Mutaurwa, was implicated by his accomplice, Kelvin Nyabanga, who claimed that he collected the money on his behalf.
The court heard that on January 28, police received a tip off that traffic officers, who were manning the ZRP Mabvuku traffic had teamed up with Nyabanga to extort money from kombis on the Epworth route.
The scheme was planned in a manner which allowed commuter omnibuses on that route to pass through the roadblock, without being stopped, after payment of bribe money amounting to US$5 per day or US$30 per week.
Nyabanga was strategically placed at Chance Shopping Centre, Hatfield, as their runner, with the responsibility of receiving the money from drivers of the kombis between 7am and 10am.
After collecting the money from complying operators, Nyabanga would list all defiant kombis and sent the list to the police officers who would target the vehicles and arrest the drivers. One of the kombi owners reported the matter to the police and a trap was authorised which led to Nyabanga’s arrest.
Nyabanga implicated Mutaurwa, through their WhatsApp messages, in which they were discussing the deal.
Anesu Chirenje appeared for the State.