Patient Sibanda Court Reporter—
A POLICE officer allegedly connived with two Bulawayo men and extorted $900 from a delivery truck driver they intercepted carrying smuggled goods, a magistrate heard yesterday. Western Commonage provincial magistrate Abednico Ndebele heard this when Ngqabutho Nkomazana, 29, a Gwanda-based cop, Advance Mutsikwa, 34, of Old Magwegwe in Bulawayo and Lawrence Mudemi, 41, of Emakhandeni suburb in Bulawayo appeared before him facing extortion charges.
Mutsikwa and Mudemi are civilians, but when they committed the offence, the three friends allegedly claimed that they were all police officers. The trio allegedly demanded $1,000 from Elvis Moyo, 26, a Lobels Bakery driver who was carrying second-hand smuggled clothes. The contraband belonged to his passengers.
Nkomazana, Mutsikwa and Mudemi were remanded out of custody to March 31 on $100 bail. Prosecuting, Mufaro Mageza said on January 28 this year shortly after 7PM, the three spotted Moyo dropping off passengers from his truck along Masiyephambili Drive.
The court heard that the trio confronted Moyo who was in the company of his two workmates, Edmund Zibowa and Brighton Gwebu. The Lobels Bakery employees were coming from Victoria Falls.
The court heard that the three men demanded money from Moyo for carrying goods which were allegedly smuggled into the country. They introduced themselves as police officers and threatened to arrest Moyo on charges of transporting smuggled goods.
“They demanded $1,000 but he offered them $900,” said Mageza. The police later received a tip that the three had received a bribe. The court heard that when Mutsikwa learnt that he was being investigated, he offered to refund Moyo his $180 share of the bribe, but he refused.
It was not stated how much Nkomazana and Mudemi pocketed from Moyo’s $900.