A top ZRP officer in charge of the Mbare police station was taken to court for ordering a $120 bribe money from a bus operator.
Chief Inspector Violet Sigauke had tried to swallow the bribe money when she was caught.
She had reportedly made a call to the Mama Ru commuter omnibus company’s manager, Kudzai Mapako, telling him that in order to have his buses move freely in the route she was managing, he had to give her $120 every two weeks.
Mapako had offered Sigauke $40, but she had complained that the money was not enough. On February 8, she called Mapako demanding $60 and Mapako stated that he was out of town, but would send someone to give her the money at Mbare police station.
Mapako then notified the General Police Headquarters (GPHQ), and a trap was set in order to catch Violet Sigauke in the act.
A bus conductor of one of Mapako’s buses was given the bills (after its serial numbers were written down). He proceeded to the Mbare police station with the $60 in denominations of 10s and 20s.
Unbeknownst to officer Sigauke, a trap was being set for her. After the conductor left the office, the intelligence officers who were stationed at the Mbare police station proceeded to Sigauke’s office to conduct a search.
According to the account relayed in court, Sigauke took out the money from her top drawer and placed it in her mouth, trying to swallow the bribe. After a lot of struggling and a bitten thumb, the money was eventually removed from Sigauke’s mouth.
She was charged with criminal abuse of office and was remanded in custody on a $100 bail till February 27.
Violet Sigauke maintains that she was sexually harassed by the detectives who arrested her. She added that she was still reeling in trauma due to their advances in the ways they searched her.
Police corruption and bribery are widespread in Africa; a continent regarded as having the most corrupt countries in the world.