‘Bribe money-swallowing’ cop trial deferred

HARARE – The trial of a Mbare police officer-in-charge, who allegedly attempted to swallow bribe money after being trapped, has been deferred to April 6 because the magistrate was not available.

Violet Sigauke is being charged with criminal abuse of office.

Trial proceedings are before Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube.

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Sigauke was represented by Admire Rubaya when she appeared before magistrate Barbra Chimboza for the postponement.

Wilson Siwela, a conductor at Mama Ru commuter omnibuses who was used to deliver the bribe money, said he was not aware that it was a trap money.

It is the State’s case that sometime in January, Sigauke phoned one Kudzai Mapako employed by Mama Ru Commuter Ominibus Company as a manager ordering him to pay $120 for free passage of his omnibuses for two weeks within Sigauke’s policing jurisdiction.

Mapako then met Sigauke at a bank in Graniteside, Harare, where he handed her $40 as part of the bribe money.

However, Sigauke then told Mapako that the amount was too little and that he should in fact pay $60  per week for the free passage of his fleet.

The State further alleges that the accused then phoned Mapako on February 8 2017, demanding $60 bribe money.

In turn, the Mama Ru Commuter Ominibus Company manager then told the matter to one Reuben Chimanja, who proceeded to report the matter to the police.

A trap was authorised at Police General Headquarters and four intelligence officers proceeded to Mbare Police Station to execute it.

The State further alleged that a commuter omnibus conductor from Mama Ru Commuter Ominibus Company was then instructed to take the bribe money to Sigauke at her office and then left.

The serial numbers of the money had been noted.

The intelligence officers then entered Sigauke’s office, identified themselves and showed the accused the trap authority.

One of the officers then attempted to search her but she quickly put the money into her mouth as she tried to resist arrest.

Immediate confirmation of the money conducted in her office revealed that the trap money’s serial numbers tallied with the photocopied notes.

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