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Missing exhibits: Police drag their feet

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Missing exhibits: Police drag their feet

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Garikai Mafirakureva


HARARE-The Zimbabwe Republic Police is allegedly trying to sweep under the carpet a serious scandalous mess in which thirty-five motorbikes seized as exhibits by the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Criminal Investigations Department (CID) valued at US$ 87,500 have disappeared from their custody.
However, Sarpo said he made a formal complaint with the Police more than two weeks ago, but police is taking its time to act. “I launched a formal complaint with the Police last month and they said they have taken the matter up with the Police Anti-Corruption Unit (PACU) under Enquiry Register Number 75/2023, but up to now nothing came up. You know this is a serious offence and I wonder why Williams and Maburutse are not being arrested,” said Sarpo.
National Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi continuously said the matter is under investigations raising eyebrows on why it is taking so long to investigate a seemingly clear case. However, the police is accused of dragging its feet to investigate their own as it would tarnish their image.
“Just give me a day or two so that I can furnish you with finer details. I am at the Agricultural Show and the official opening is about to start, so I can’t comment,” said Nyathi as he continuously shifted goal posts.
The 35 motorbikes belonging to Chiredzi farmer, Tony Renato Sarpo were seized in 2017 after his partners at Yagden Engineering Pvt Limited, Wayne Williams and Regis Maburutse reported him for theft of trust property.The bikes were seized by CID Harare Commercial Crimes Division and instead of being kept at the Police station, they were kept at a Yagden warehouse in Chiredzi after the company’s Loss Control manager, Solomon Mateta signed an indemnity form.Williams claimed he gave Sarpo US$150 000 from the company but diverted the motorbikes to personal use.Harare Resident Magistrate, Ruramai Chitumbura acquitted Sarpo of the charges in March 2023, after he produced the Customs Clearance Certificate for the motorbike kits. They showed that they were imported for US$64 443, not US$150 000, as claimed by Williams.She issued a grant order for the motorbikes to be released to Sarpo.Part of her order, dated May 4, 2023, reads: “RE: Release of exhibits State vs Tony Renato Sarpo CRB HREP4035/17. In respect of the 3rd count the accused was found not guilty and acquitted therefore the 35 unassembled motorbikes are to be returned to the accused person.”When Sarpo went to CCD to ask for assistance to retrieve the exhibits back into his care, they were not there. It is alleged the motorbikes were disposed of during the trial while they were still State exhibits, and some of the CID officials received the motorbikes to facilitate the unlawful release of the motorbikes.

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