ZRP cops in furious fist fight over bribe money

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A Bulawayo police officer is nursing bruises after a colleague assaulted him for asking about cash that is suspected to have come from a bribe, a court heard yesterday.

Mike Chibike, 42, a police officer stationed at Nkulumane Traffic Section, allegedly assaulted Wellington Manyowa Sumbururo of the provincial anti-corruption team, at a road block along Matopos Road near Gifford High school on May 8.

He allegedly threatened to assault a third officer who witnessed the incident. Chibike, the court heard, lost his marbles after Sumbururo asked him to account for $35 he was holding.

Chibike allegedly claimed it was his personal money, although he could not produce documentation to prove he had declared the money before going on duty — as per police procedure.

Chibike allegedly pushed Sumbururo from a vehicle where he allegedly received the bribe, onto a tarred road before fleeing the scene.

He pleaded not guilty to assault when he appeared before magistrate Marylene Mtshina yesterday. Chibike was remanded to June 26 on $40 bail.

Prosecuting, Kudakwashe Jaravaza said on May 8, at around 10AM, Sumbururo was on duty with Inspector Bradwell Matarutse.

“Upon their arrival at the roadblock, Sumbururo and his team observed Mike Chibike walking towards a white Toyota Ipsum vehicle with registration number ADM3345. Sumbururo parked the vehicle that he was driving behind the Ipsum,” said Jaravaza.

Jaravaza added that Chibike got into the car, sat in the driver’s seat and closed the doors.

“Sumbururo approached Chibike and asked him if he had declared the $20, $10, and $5 notes that he was holding. The accused then replied it was his money. Sumbururo grabbed Chibike’s hand intending to cross check the serial numbers of the money against a declaration book,” said Jaravaza.

Chibike, Jaravaza told the court, “violently pushed” Sumbururo who fell onto the tarred road where he sustained bruises. Jaravaza told the court Chibike threatened to assault Sumbururo and Insp Matarutse who gave chase.