A 27-year-old bogus police officer who mounted a fake roadblock near State House was yesterday sentenced to an effective six years, while his two colleagues were jailed five years each.
The trio – Martin Ndoorwi (27), Innocent Pamire (32) and Joel Paradzayi (30) – tried to extort money from a Patriot newspaper driver after accusing him of driving through a red traffic light near State House.
Ndoorwi was sentenced to 10 years in jail but four were suspended for five years on condition of good behaviour.
It emerged in court that Ndoorwi was once convicted in 2015 on similar charges of impersonating a police officer.
His accomplices, Pamire and Paradzayi, were sentenced to six years each in prison before a year was set aside for each.
The fourth accused, Khadri Amin (43), is on the run after being granted bail at the High Court.
Prosecutor Ms Rudo Chasi said on February 24 this year, Patriot newspaper driver Milton Shumba and his wife, Elizabeth Chuma, were driving past State House along Borrowdale Road, when they were blocked by the suspects’ car, forcing them to stop.
Ndoorwi, who was clad in police uniform, accused Shumba of driving through a red traffic light.
Ndoorwi then jumped into Shumba’s car and ordered him todrive back to State House.
He ordered Chuma to join Pamire, Paradzayi and Amin in the getaway vehicle.
On approaching the State House entrance, Ndoorwi ordered Shumba to drive towards the Harare Botanical Gardens, alleging that they wanted to use the back entrance.
Ndoorwi demanded to drive the vehicle, but Shumba refused after suspecting that they were criminals.
He wrestled to grab the steering wheel, before Shumba lost control of the vehicle and hit a pavement.
After the accident, Ndoorwi jumped off and took to his heels, before members of the public gave chase and arrested him.
Pamire, Paradzayi and Amin sped off with Shumba’s wife, whom they later dropped in Mt Pleasant.
Ndoorwi later implicated his accomplices.
An anti-riot police jacket, three anti-riot trousers and one webbing belt were recovered at Ndoorwi’s house.
Amin was found in possession of a police identity card in the name of a Constable Zondo, and a pair of handcuffs.