BY KENNETH NYANGANI
THREE Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officials have been hauled before the courts on allegations of stealing cash and groceries belonging to a Mutare court official.
The trio, Tawanda Tandara (33), Pardon Chitembwe (42) and Farai Kambarami (32), who work as ZACC peace officers in Harare, appeared yesterday before Mutare magistrate Perseverance Makhala, who granted them $200 each and remanded them to March 6.
The complainant in the matter is Confidence Pasipatorwa (33), who is employed as an interpreter at Mutare Civil Court.
According to prosecutor Fletcher Karombe, the three accused persons approached the complainant at Bigbyte downtown shop on January 8, 2019 just after midnight.
Pasipatorwa was in the company of her brother Given, Tawanda Dongonda and an unidentified lady they had offered a lift to Dangamvura high-density suburb.
The three accused persons introduced themselves as officials from the anti-graft unit and they were on a mission to curb illegal smuggling of goods in Mutare.
Chitembwe allegedly asked Pasipatorwa to produce her declaration forms for the groceries they were off-loading and she complied.
The court heard that they then asked to see Given’s passport since he was the one who had brought the groceries from South Africa.
After opening the passport, Chitembwe came across R350, which he allegedly took away.
The accused persons then instructed the complainant to accompany them to Mutare Central Police Station saying they were under arrest for smuggling goods, and they complied.
The complainant entered into the accused persons’ vehicle along with Tandara and Kambarami, who was driving.
Chitembwe, Given, another unidentified lady and Tandara boarded a commuter omnibus, which was being driven by Tandara.
On their way to Mutare Central Police Station, Tandara asked for the complainant’s ID, who said she had left it at home.
Tandara then told Kambarami that they should go and collect it.
They went to Pasipatorwa’s home and on arrival, Tandara escorted her into her bedroom under the pretext that he wanted to check for other smuggled goods in the house, which he did and found nothing.
He, however, saw US$230 on top of a drawer and took it, claiming that she was illegally dealing in forex.
The accused then left the house and told the complainant to follow him outside.
When she followed him moments later, she found them gone.
Fortunately, the unidentified woman, who was in the commuter omnibus, had managed to scribble down the registration numbers of the accused persons’ vehicle before it disappeared.
She then handed the registration numbers to Pasipatorwa, who made a police report on January 10.
The accused persons were arrested on February 19.