By A Correspondent- Two detectives stationed in Marondera have been arrested for their role in the theft and selling of over 100 tobacco bales valued at US$58 000.
It is alleged that Tapera Bvunzawabaya (36) and Phenias Bizabani (36) from CID Law and Order intercepted the stolen tobacco but connived with the armed robbers to sell the loot before sharing the proceeds.
The duo had reportedly demanded bribes from the robbers Albert Mhari, Kezias Chonde, Morestaff Kapeta, Darlington Mhari and their accomplices who are still at large, but the robbers had no money.
It is alleged that on 22 July, the robbers who were armed with a pistol, went to Karimazondo Farm in Marondera where they ambushed the security guard, Christopher Mukobvu whom they threatened before tying his hands and legs with shoelaces.
They took a truck laden with 130 bales of tobacco from the farm after assaulting and stabbing the driver and then drove to Cotter Farm along Longlands in Marondera owned by Talent Kaseke where they offloaded the bales.
A police report was made at Marondera Central and Bizabani and Bvunzawabaya who are stationed as detectives made investigations and found the tobacco bales at Cotter Farm.
They found the robbers repackaging the tobacco to conceal their initial identification and demanded bribes from the robbers.
The robbers said they had no money and then it was proposed that the tobacco be sold and proceeds be shared between the cops and the robbers.
Bizabani allegedly called one Shingirayi Mutsinziri who transported the stolen tobacco bales to Harare for sale.
The cops also approached Talent Kaseke’s wife and got permission to use her grower’s number to sell the tobacco.
They also escorted the trucks in their black Mercedes Benz and facilitated safe passage for the two trucks at police checkpoints to Harare where the tobacco was sold before sharing the proceeds.
A parallel investigation involving the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) led to the arrest of Kapeta who implicated the detectives.
The cops have since appeared before Marondera magistrate Rumbidzai Munemo facing criminal abuse of office charges and were ordered to apply for bail at the High Court.
Kapeta and his team are also in remand over armed robbery charges.