Impersonator jailed for robbing banana vendor

Danisa Masuku
A MAN who impersonated a police officer has been thrown behind bars for robbing a banana vendor of his hard-earned cash.

Tariro Chigwedu (27) bumped into Talent Mabanjira on 6 January this year while he was selling bananas at TM Hyper and demanded cash while claiming to be a police officer.

It is alleged Chigwedu said he was based at Drill Hall and is attached at licence inspectorate.

The court heard that Tariro who was eager to fleece money from Talent told him that he was under arrest for selling bananas during the enforced lockdown period.

He said for him to be released he had to pay US$3 fine, Talent told him he had only US$1 and he gave him, after that he dashed off.

Believing that he had discovered an easy way to make money, Tariro returned to his hunting ground — TM hyper.

He found Talent busy selling his bananas, he once gain stopped him and demanded cash while also claiming to be a police officer.

The unsuspecting Talent gave him $100 after that he left in a huff.

Talent told court that he got suspicious but he could not do anything as Tariro quickly disappeared into a crowd of people.

However, on 23 January things changed for Talent, he went back to TM hyper and used the same modus operandi to swindle Tariro. Tariro demanded to see his ZRP identity card, but he failed to produce it.

Talent called passersby who helped him in apprehending Tariro. They took him to a police station leading to his arrest.

Appearing for a full trial before Tredgold courts’ magistrate Stephen Ndlovu Tariro pleaded guilty to two counts of impersonation.

In arriving at the sentence the magistrate said: “You must be ashamed of yourself for dragging the name of the police force into the mud by extorting innocent civilians while masquerading in borrowed robes of our esteemed police force, therefore you deserve a custodial sentence.”

He was sentenced to serve 48 months in prison, eight months were suspended on condition of good behaviour. He will effectively serve 40 months behind bars.

Constance Mathaba prosecuted.

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