EIGHT commuter omnibus conductors who were arrested over the weekend for trying to bribe traffic police by paying them amounts ranging from US$2 to US$5 were sentenced to six months in prison by Harare magistrate Noticia Shenge.
The conductors, Hamphry Midzi (22), Godknows Nyawata (24), Abisha Kamwaya (28), Tinotenda Matuvha (23), Bothwell Jack (18), Tadiwa Webster Homotso (19), Tinotenda Bhudala (19) and Raphael Zinyama (33) had their 12 year sentences suspended to six months on condition that they do not commit the same offences in five years.
They will therefore serve effective six month jail terms.
In passing sentence, Shenje said she took note that bribery offences were on the rise, adding that the court does not condone corruption.
“The court is of the view that a deterrent sentence in the form of a custodial sentence will send a clear message to would be offenders and that bribing police officers is a serious offence,” Shenje said.
The court also heard that the convicts were employed by different transport operators in Harare.
On June 16 this year at around 8am, their buses were stopped at police roadblocks around Harare.
The convicts disembarked from their buses and approached police officers and gave them varying amount of United States dollars from US$2 to US$5 as bribe money for free passage at road blocks.
This led to their arrests.