PIRATE kombi drivers and touts in Bulawayo on Monday effected a citizens’ arrest on a woman who was allegedly impersonating a police officer and extorting money from them.
Vinate Ncube (35) was arrested after she allegedly extracted US$10 from Mr Jones Ndlovu, who was picking up passengers at 6th Avenue in Bulawayo.
Mr Ndlovu said he had no choice but to give Ncube US$10 after she threatened to not only arrest him but to impound his vehicle.
“I had to pay her because she was so convincing. She told me that she was a plain clothes officer deployed to nab pirate kombis in town. After I paid her, I drove away with the passengers, but after a while I received a call from another kombi crew that told me that they had arrested her after they found out from Honda Fit drivers that the woman was a fake cop.
“We then called the police and they took her to Drill Hall Police Station. As we speak, she is there. We are tired of these bogus cops who come here every day demanding money. We have now learnt that Drill Hall does not have plainclothes police officers. We are just trying to make a living, this must stop,” said Mr Ndlovu.
Ncube vehemently dismissed the allegations that she was impersonating a police officer and had demanded a bribe.
“I am a sex worker and the driver is my client. He gave me US$10 and told me to wait for him at 6th Avenue as he was going on a trip. I am a very famous sex worker so he knew that I was not going to run away from him.
“I was surprised when other drivers and touts pounced on me, claiming that I had extorted money from them. It is a lie, how can I pretend to be a policewoman,” she said.
Mr Ndlovu laughed off Ncube’s claim that he was her client.
“I have a wife at home, I don’t need this woman’s services. Besides, who pays for sex and drives away? I am not that stupid,” said Ndlovu.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) arrested more than 105 bogus police officers in the first eight months of 2020 for terrorising unsuspecting members of the public around the country.
In the same period last year, the police arrested 130 police impersonators.
The fraudsters committed various offences in the name of the uniformed forces with some of them wearing police regalia before going around suburbs in vehicles without number plates extorting and robbing people of their valuables.
In some instances, the bogus officers would man fake roadblocks where they would shake down motorists.
Of the more than 105 cases, 101 arrests have been made with some of the culprits serving jail terms. ■