The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Latest - Police Chief Arrested for Illegal Possession of Firearm

A senior police officer based in Beitbridge has been arrested at a roadblock along the Masvingo-Beitbridge highway after he was allegedly found in possession of an unlicenced firearm and ammunition stashed in his car.

Inspector Abel Mudzonga (41) who is the officer-in-charge in the Information Communication Technology section at Beitbridge district police headquarters has since appeared before a Mwenezi magistrate's court facing charges of illegal possession of an unlicenced firearm.

He is also being charged with unlawful possession of ammunition as the SN Browning pistol hidden in his car was allegedly loaded with two rounds of ammunition.

Inspector Mudzonga's arrest comes in the wake of an increase in armed robbery cases involving pistols in Mwenezi district.

The provincial magistrate Mr Timeon Makunde on Thursday remanded Inspector Mudzonga-who denied both charges-in custody to January 16.

Mr Makunde blocked Inspector Mudzonga's bail after ruling that police's ballistics section should first investigate the origins of the pistol and ammunition which the senior police officer had.

On January 2 Insp Mudzonga was allegedly driving his station wagon vehicle towards Beitbridge on his way from Kwekwe, with a pistol loaded with two rounds of ammunition hidden in his car.

He was allegedly stopped by police officers manning a roadblock at the 148-km peg in the Mwenezi area who proceeded to search his car.

The policemen then allegedly found an SN Browning pistol and two rounds of ammunition hidden in his car.

Insp Mudzonga claimed that he was actually on his way to surrender the pistol and ammunition to police which he claimed was left behind by one Bigboy Stauze in 2004 when the latter left for the UK.

H allegedly failed to satisfactorily explain why he had failed to surrender the pistol and ammunition from 2004 to that date leading to his arrest.

Mr Zibusiso Mnkandla prosecuted.

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