Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
A 31-year-old off-duty police officer attached to the ZRP Support Unit has been arrested for illegally releasing seven deportees from the Beitbridge quarantine centre after taking a R1500 bribe.
Webster Mudadisi was busted by his colleagues soon after escorting the group from the facility on Friday.
He was not asked to plead to charges of Criminal Abuse of Office as a public officer when he appeared before Ms Vavariro Gabi on Saturday.
Mudadisi was remanded in custody to May 20 for trial.
Prosecuting, Mr Ronald Mugwagwa told the court that the accused, who is currently deployed to the Beitbridge quarantine centre, was off-duty when he committed the offence.
He said on May 7, Mudadisi was approached by one man who had been deported from South Africa and was offered R250 to facilitate his escape from quarantine.
The state further alleged that the accused asked the man to mobilise more people who were to pay R250 bribes each to buy their freedom. Mudadisi was then given R1500 to facilitate the release of seven people after which he escorted them out of the quarantine centre. He was intercepted by other police officers who were closely monitoring his movements.
Upon realising that he had been busted, he forcibly stashed the bribe money in one of the deportees’ jackets. The group was interrogated and revealed they had paid Mudadisi, who was subsequently arrested and the money was recovered.