A POLICE boss from Serious Fraud Section in Harare and three of his subordinates on Friday appeared in court for allegedly taking a $10 000 bribe from suspected poachers who killed more than 95 elephants at the Hwange National Park using cyanide.
SENIOR COURT REPORTER
The bribe was allegedly meant to facilitate the release a vehicle that was intercepted carrying ivory in Harare last year.
Detective Assistant Inspector Alois Gakata and his subordinates, detective Sergeant Wellington Jena and detective constables Shadreck Rore and Donald Dube were not asked to plead to fraud when they appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Gladmore Mushove on Friday.
They were all remanded in custody to Tuesday for bail ruling.
The detectives were sold out by Clever Khumalo (44) and Sipho Mafu (54) being charged with delivering, or offering toxic substances and illegally possessing ivory in contravention of the Parks and Wildlife Act and the Environmental Management Act.
Khumalo and Mafu are jointly charged with Sanelisiwe Dube of 15099 Nkulumane 12, still at large.
They were allegedly selling the ivory in Harare and South Africa.
The two in warned and cautioned statements, said some of the members of the syndicate, were a woman identified as Anna Moyo of Number 16734 Millas Road, Romney Park, Daniel Mba who knew the buyer in Harare, Mthandazo Tshuma, a woman identified as Mai Rumbi from Harare, another woman identified as Anna Mvereche and an Elfina Mzizi.
They said last year in August, they used Moyo’s vehicle after she allegedly lied to her husband that she wanted a car to visit her ill sister in Kwekwe and the husband gave her a Toyota Hilux to use not knowing that she had been hired to carry the ivory.
According to Khumalo and Mafu the syndicate was intercepted by police in Harare and fled from the scene leaving the vehicle, which was impounded.
They said some policemen led by an officer only identified as Gakata, demanded a $10 000 bribe to release the vehicle after tracing it back to Moyo’s husband in Bulawayo.
The syndicate allegedly gave the police $3 000 and three officers from Harare allegedly came to Bulawayo after seven days to collect the balance of $7 000.
Khumalo and Mafu said a man identified as Gumbo, was facilitating the transactions and when they accompanied the police officers back to Harare, they stopped in Norton where the officers phoned Gakata and they drove to his house with the money.
In Harare, Khumalo and Mafu alleged they slept at Cranborne Police Station at a cottage belonging to a policeman identified as Musoma.