Samuel Kadungure Senior Reporter
THE trial of two men who allegedly tried to bribe a senior public prosecutor in Rusape to facilitate the release of a vehicle that had been seized by police as part of proceeds of fraudulently gotten money opened on Monday with the State lawyer testifying.
Mr Tirivanhu Mutyasira, on Monday told the presiding Magistrate Mr Shane Kubonera that he received a call from the Officer-in-Charge, CID Rusape, Detective Inspector Simon Nyamupfukudza that Maroto Musiiwa (39) of House Number 7818 Unit K Chitungwiza and Abisha Muziti, of House Number 7853 Unit K Chitungwiza wanted him to corruptly facilitate the release of the vehicle.
The vehicle, a Nissan Caravan vehicle (registration numbers AEQ 6326) is held at Rusape Urban Police Station as an exhibit in a fraud case involving Moses Mutswiri who was arrested on May 11, 2018 in connection with a USD$20 000 fraud case.
“I met Det Insp Nyamupfukudza in the company of Detective Assistant Insp Zulu and was advised of the two’s illegal intentions. We agreed to set a trap, and while we were still discussing the trap strategy, one of the accused called Det Insp Nyamupfukudza on his mobile number and was told to proceed to Rusape to meet me.
“I drove to Nyamupfukudza’s office and was introduced to the accused persons. They repeatedly pleaded with me to release the vehicle which they said belonged to their sister. They said they had money which they wanted to give me to facilitate the release of the vehicle. I told them the vehicle cannot be released as it was an exhibit in Mutswiri’s case which was pending before the court.
“Maroto Musiiwa then produced $200, which was in $5 notes and put it in front of me. They pleaded for my co-operation. I asked them to count it, and Abisha Muziti stood up saying the money was clean, and started counting and handed it over to me,” said Mr Mutyasira.
Det Insp Nyamupfukudza was recording the whole conversation on his mobile device.
“Immediately after finishing counting and handing over the $200 to me, the observing team of Det Asst Inspector Zulu and Sergeant Muwowo emerged from the adjacent room and arrested them,” said Mr Mutyasira.
The suspects, who were self-actors, failed to ask Mr Mutyasira any meaningful question during cross-examination.
Instead the two told Mr Kubonera that they had been enticed to act the way they did by police.
Musiiwa and Muziti are facing charges of contravening Section 170 (b) (1) of the Criminal Law and Codification Reform Act Chapter 9:23 which makes bribery a penalised offence.
They are out of custody on $50 bail each.
They were ordered to reside at their given addresses until the finalisation of the matter, not to interfere with State witnesses and to report once per month at Chitungwiza Police Station.
Ms Event Dhliwayo prosecuted.