Senior Cop, Subordinate Jailed For Diverting Smuggled Goods
Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau
A senior police officer, Inspector Elias Mawomba (47), and his subordinate, Assistant Inspector Dickson Siakwimbi have been jailed for an effective 15 months for diverting two vehicles from offloading smuggled goods inside the Beitbridge Border Post.
Mawomba and Siakwimbi were deployed to Beitbridge to conduct security and anti-smuggling duties to the country’s border with South Africa under operation “No to Cross-border Crimes’’.
Although they denied the charges of Criminal Abuse of Office and theft, Beitbridge Regional Magistrate Mr Innocent Bepura convicted them on the strength of the State’s evidence.
Prosecuting, Mr Cloudios Karinga told the court that on July 18, other security members attached to the same operation with Insp Mawomba intercepted two vehicles that were carrying an assortment of smuggled goods.
The contraband included, 250 boxes of MAQ washing powder and 57 boxes (12 by 400ml) Nivea body lotion creams at Panda Mine security checkpoint some 60km east of Beitbridge town.
The vehicles, a silver Toyota Hiace (AFH 6568) was being driven by Christopher Mashura while the other, a green Toyota Hiace (ACU 4824) panel van was being driven by Last Muvimi.
On the following day, Inspector Mawomba and Asst Insp Siakwimbi were assigned by their commanders to escort the two vehicles to offload the goods at the Beitbridge Border Post for valuation and further customs management.
The two police officers connived with the drivers to offload part of the contraband in a bushy area near the Zinwa water treatment pump.
They ran out of luck when some members of the public who spotted them informed border security officials leading to their arrest soon after offloading 175 boxes of washing powder and 53 others of Nivea body lotion.