Two Bulawayo men have landed in police trouble after they allegedly demanded a bribe from a teenage Form Four pupil who was with his girlfriend, cuddling on the lawn under a tree at a recreational park in the city.
The pair of Mduduzi Dube (31) and Fanuel Ncube (29), both from Pumula South suburb, have since been arrested after they were caught redhanded by bona fide officers while receiving a bribe of ZAR 100 from the 16-year old Fourth Former and his lover, accusing them of contravening Covid19 regulations.
Upon finding the teenage duo cuddling at Centenary Park, the two criminals identified themselves as police officers from Bulawayo Central Police Station and accused the juveniles of not putting on face masks.
They could not however produce their police IDs despite crookedly identifying themselves as law enforcement agents, the state media reported.
Dube and Ncube are said to have harassed the two lovebirds for not putting on face masks in contravention of the current Covid19 regulations.
The duo then ‘arrested’ the youthful lovers and said they were taking them to Bulawayo Central Police Station.
After walking for for about 100 metres, the fake police officers allegedly demanded a bribe.
“They told me that I will rot in jail and to avoid that I have to pay them. I gave them R100,” said the pupil who cannot be named for ethical reasons.
As fate would have it, the daring police masquerades ran out of luck when real cops from Kumalo Police Station caught them red-handed while receiving the bribe.
“They asked them what was happening and the young couple told them that they were arrested by police officers for not wearing a face mask and had paid them R100 fine so that they would be set free,” a source close to investigations told B-Metro.
It is reported that the real police officers asked Dube and Ncube to produce their police IDs, but they failed.
“They were then arrested and taken to Kumalo PoliceSstation,” the source added.
Police authorities from the second biggest city have since confirmed the incident.
“I can confirm that we arrested two male adults for impersonating police officers,” said Bulawayo police spokesperson Inspector Abednico Ncube (main picture).
“They ordered a Form Four pupil who was not wearing a mask to give them a R100 bribe. We would like to urge community members to adhere to Covid-19 protocols by wearing face masks properly and sanitise so as to avoid falling to prey to unscrupulous people,” he said.