AN UMGUZA lands officer has accused police officers of planting money used as a trap in his pocket, as he faces allegations of demanding a bribe.
This came to light at the trial of the lands officer Philani Ndlovu facing charges of bribery.
He indicated that he was not pleading guilty before Western Commonage magistrate Temba Chimiso.
In his defence, Ndlovu claimed police officers planted the alleged bribe money in his pocket and later arrested him.
Detective Assistant Inspector Zibusiso Moyo in a court statement said that he was instructed by a Detective Chief Inspector Kubvuruno of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) law and order section in Bulawayo to set a trap in the company of four other detectives Sergeant Nyanhete, Sergeant Nkomo, Constable Jaravaza and Constable Mosi.
According to the State’s outline, Ndlovu had been demanding a bribe of about $2 000 from Benard Chawurura, so he could process his offer letter for a farm at Dunstal in Umguza.
Moyo told the court that Detective Chief Inspector Kubvuruno gave them $2 000 in marked notes.
“We went to Chawurura’s shop at WinterFox Investment in Magwgwe West since Ndlovu had agreed that he would come and collect the money at 12 noon,” he said.
“Ndlovu did not come.
“He postponed the meeting and agreed to see the informant after work and then he came at around 6.50pm to collect the money.”
Moyo gave an instruction for the trap. The lands officer, with detectives, went inside the shop and pretended to be customers.
In his defence, Ndlovu said he was directed by Detective Constable Jaravaza to Chawurura’s office, where he found the shop owner counting money.
“I immediately suspected that something was wrong and I decided not to take the money, but as I walked out of his office he came running behind me shouting ‘take it, it’s your money’, as he pushed it into my pocket and that is when it fell down and those detectives suddenly appeared and searched me,” he said.
Detective Jaravaza told the court that he saw Ndlovu coming out of the office in a hurry and stopped him by the door before conducting a search with Detective Mosi.
“I stood by the door.
“We identified ourselves as CIDs and searched him and recovered $2 000 from his pockets, which had the same serial numbers as the ones we had given to Chawurura for the trap,” he explained.