Top cop Erasmus Makodza acquitted after corruption trial

HARARE – Police Commissioner Erasmus Makodza was acquitted on corruption charges on Thursday.

Makodza, who was suspended as officer commanding Matabeleland North province following his arrest, was accused of helping his ex-girlfriend secure a lease for a police farm and benefitting from the transaction.

He had pleaded not guilty to charges of concealing a transaction from a principal and criminal abuse of office.

Harare regional magistrate Noel Mupeiwa said prosecutors had failed to prove that he acted contrary to his duties. There was also no evidence that he pressured his juniors into signing the joint venture agreement between the Zimbabwe Republic Police and Maonei Chapfudza, with whom he has a child.

Prosecutors alleged the corrupt deal happened in 2019 when Makodza was the top cop in Mashonaland East province.

Makodza was accused of having approached Assistant Commissioner Stephen Zengeya, who was responsible for administration in the province, and advised him that there was a private investor who wanted to lease Lendy Farm, a police property.

It was alleged that Makodza then introduced Chapfudza to Zengeya who wanted to start piggery, poultry and horticulture projects.

It was alleged that Makodza neglected to tell Zengeya that he was in a relationship with Chapfudza, and they had a child together in 2017.

Police subsequently signed a joint venture agreement with Chapfudza.

Makodza’s lawyer Tapiwa Makanza told the court that Makodza did not take part in the meetings which led to Chapfudza being granted the lease.

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