A senior police officer faced bribery allegations on Wednesday as he was released on Z$10,000 bail by a Harare magistrate.
Chief Superintendent Joseph Josphat Mutipforo allegedly received a bribe from two City of Harare bosses in order to drop an investigation and forfeiture of their properties.
Mutipforo – who is in charge of the Asset Forfeiture Unit at CID Commercial Crime Division for Southern and Northern Region – appeared before Harare magistrate Esthere Chivasa who freed him with conditions. He must surrender his passport, report to a police station once every Friday and not visit his workplace on top of paying a Z$10,000 deposit with the clerk of court.
The court heard that sometime in September 2019, City of Harare reported a case of fraud in which council officials Edgar Dzehonye, Mathew Marara, Rudo Chigocha, Believer Mupawaenda and Margeth George were the accused persons.
The case emanated from 150 stands which were allegedly sold by Dzehonye and his accomplices in Kuwadzana 3, 4 and 5 to home seekers without the knowledge or approval of the council.
The matter was being investigated by Assistant Inspector Claudious Majonga and Detective Constable Aaron Karuru under under the supervision of Superintendent Naboth Nyachega and Assistant Commissioner Obeylaw Moyo of CID Commercial Crimes Division.
Chief Superintendent Mutipforo, the court heard, was conducting parallel financial investigations and pursuing forfeiture and recovery of assets emanating from a case of fraud against Dzehonye and Marara.
“On March 19, 2020, soon after the accused person started to conduct parallel financial investigations and pursuing forfeiture and recovery of the assets of Dzehonye and Marara realised from the ill-gotten wealth, he was corruptly allocated a residential stand 11443 in Westlea by Dzehonye and Nhekairo,” the prosecution alleges.
He allegedly did not follow council processes – including registering to be on the housing waiting list, being interviewed and demonstrating proof of one’s financial capacity.
As a result, the prosecution alleges, he did not pursue the investigations against Dzehonye and Nhekairo.
“The accused person acted contrary to or inconsistent with his duties as the Chief Superintendent at CID Commercial Crime Division in charge of the Asset Forfeiture Unit responsible for fighting corruption by… failing to remove ill-gotten wealth from the hands of criminals; and by accepting a consideration in the form of a residential stand number 11443 in Westlea Township from Edgar Dzehonye and Addmore Nhekairo whom he was investigating so that in return he could show favour to them in the financial investigation he was conducting,” according to the charges.
The state said this was unlawful.