HARARE: 5 Zimbabwe Republic Police officers yesterday appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing criminal abuse of duty charges after they allegedly demanded a $200 bribe from an illegal foreign currency dealer, whom they arrested for selling bond notes.

The accused – Victor Ruzvidzo (34), Evans Tafirenyika (41), Job Mukiwa (32), Kenneth Ndaramo (30) and Freeman Chabvonga (26) – appeared before magistrate, Josephine Sande, who remanded them to November 2 on $30 bail.

It is the State’s case that on October 9 this year, the five were on duty and attached to “Operation Dzosa Mari” targeting illegal foreign currency dealers. The five allegedly arrested Abigail Siyamwaiwa at the corner of Fifth Street and Nelson Mandela Avenue for illegally dealing in foreign currency.

It is alleged Siyamwaiwa told Cleotilda Chamboko, the owner of the money of this, and the latter then met up with the five, who were with the arrested suspected money changer.

The State alleges the five asked for a $200 bribe from Chamboko in order for her to avoid seizure of her money, which was in Siyamwaiwa’s possession.

Chamboko is said to have handed over $200 to Siyamwaiwa for alleged onward transmission to the officers, before she went to make a police report at Harare Central Police Station.

Later, Chamboko and some police officers caught up with Ruzvidzo and Mukiwa at Ahmed House, where Siyamwaiwa had been taken to and she positively identified them, leading to their arrest. Tafirenyika, Ndaramo and Chabvonga are said to have handed themselves to the police and the $200 was not recovered.

Linda Gadzikwa appeared for the State.