A 19-year-old suspected illegal gold panner exposed three police officers when he told a Gwanda magistrate that he had been arrested over failure to raise enough money which the cops demanded as a bribe.
According to Southern Eye Mphathisi Ncube of Filabusi denied charges of prospecting for minerals without a licence when he appeared before magistrate Olivia Mashava Mashaire on Monday.
The teenager told the court that detectives Admire Guwe, Charles Mandu and Constable Nemahwe arrested him by the roadside at Amazon area when he had been sent by his brother to surrender a metal detector at a nearby mine.
“The police parked in front of me and demanded to see documents for the detector and l told them the machine belonged to my brother,” the teenager said.
“When we got to my brother they demanded money so they would release me and when we gave them $50 they said it was too little and they took me to Gwanda, l still have that money with me.”
The teenager challenged detective Guwe on the bribe claims. The cop responded by saying they had searched and found the $50 note with, the teenager when they arrested him.
However, Guwe and Mhandu maintained they had found Ncube in a bushy area panning for gold.
The court heard that last Saturday at Amazon in Filabusi, detectives from the Minerals Unit Gwanda received a tip-off that there were illegal gold panners at Amazon.
Guwe and Mhandu found the teenager holding a metal detector and moving it in a circular motion in search of gold.
Ncube was arrested on the scene. His trial continued yesterday.