The Sunday News
Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
FOUR illegal money dealers in Kwekwe have been arraigned before the courts for allegedly beating up a cop who attempted to arrest their colleague.
Sithokozile Mhlambeni (37), Tungamirai Mabika (24), Anxious Rutavi (37) and Learnmore Gumi (25) were arraigned before Kwekwe magistrate Mr Lavroe Philemon facing charges of assaulting a police officer or defeating the course of justice.
They were remanded out of custody to 5 April for trial after they pleaded not guilty to the charge. The State’s case as presented by the prosecutor, Mr Freddy Ndoro is that on 22 March at PG Complex in Kwekwe, police officers approached Gumi and warned him against illegally dealing in money.
Gumi, the court heard, did not heed the call and went on to sell US$100 to Vengesai Mutizwa for $128 bond notes while the police officers were watching.
The police officers, whose names were not mentioned in court papers, then attempted to effect an arrest on Gumi but their efforts were thwarted by Mhlambeni, Mabika and Rutavi who attacked the cops and shoved them off Gumi.
As a result, the court heard, the cops failed to get the US$100 they wanted as exhibit but could only recover the $128 bond notes. Gumi also joined in the fight and shoved one officer to the ground before making good his escape.
The quartet was only arrested the next day after armed police rounded up the illegal money dealers at their base, leading to their subsequent appearance in court. Meanwhile, Gumi will appear in court separately on 3 April for trial after he was released on $100 bail for contravening the money exchange and control regulation.
Shepherd Farayi of Farayi and Associates and Vengai Masvaya of Chitsa and Masvaya Legal Practitioners represented the accused.