ZRP Cop Releases 5 Cellphone Thieves
5 December 2023
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ZRP Officer Faces Charges for Allegedly Freeing Suspected Thieves; Junior Officer Tips off Authorities.

A Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer, Forbes Dombo, finds himself in legal trouble as he faces charges of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer. The charges stem from allegations that Dombo ordered a constable to release five suspected thieves accused of stealing cellphones without following proper procedures.

The junior police officer, Ignatious Magejo, reportedly tipped off superiors about Dombo’s actions, prompting an investigation that led to his arrest. Dombo appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr. Donald Ndirowei, and he was remanded in custody pending a ruling on his bail application.

According to the prosecutor, Mr. Anesu Chirenje, the incident took place on November 15 at ZRP Budiriro. Five men were arrested and detained at the station on theft allegations, with three cellphones recovered from them.

However, on the following day, Dombo allegedly assigned the case to Constable Manwere, instructing him to treat it as disorderly conduct. Shockingly, Dombo purportedly directed the constable to have the five suspects pay a US$5 fine each for their release.

The prosecution contends that Dombo failed to exercise due diligence in handling the case, as proper procedures dictate instructing the investigating officer to treat the recovered cellphones as exhibits and conduct a thorough investigation into the theft.

The case highlights concerns over potential misconduct within the police force, and the involvement of a junior officer in reporting the incident underscores the importance of internal oversight. Dombo now awaits the court’s decision on his bail application as legal proceedings unfold.