Midlands Bureau Chief
A KWEKWE-based prosecutor and a prison officer who were facing charges of accepting $150 bribe from an accused, have been acquitted.
The prosecutor Fortunate Mbizvo, 31, and Norest Makoto, 34, were found not guilty by provincial magistrate Phathekile Msipa.
Msipa said the evidence from state witneses was inconsistent.
“The trap wasn’t properly established and there was no trap certificate issued,” said Msipa while acquitting Mbizvo and Makoto.
Allegations against the pair were that on September 15, last year Mbizvo prosecuted a case of contravening the Firearm Act, in which Epimarcko Mauto was the accused person.
Mauto was convicted and remanded in custody to September 16, for sentence.
On the same day at around 4.30PM Mbizvo allegedly approached Peter Mutori who is a cousin to Mauto and advised him that he would facilitate for a lighter sentence for his cousin if he gives him a sum of $150.
On September 16, Mutori and his cousin Maxwell Chibogo were allegedly approached by Makoto who informed them that Mbizvo wanted to see them during lunch hour after the court session and they waited.
During lunch hour Mutori and Chibogo allegedly tried to negotiate for the bribe money to be reduced to $100 but Mbizvo allegedly refused.
The two later reported the case to the Criminal Investigation Department who set a trap.
Mutori and Chibogo went to Mbizvo with the intention to give him the $150 as per their agreement and Mbizvo instructed them to hand it over to Makoto, it was alleged.
Mutori and Chibogo allegedly gave Makoto the money leading to the arrest of both Makoto and Mbizvo.