BULAWAYO – A Binga man who stole a police uniform from his friend in a bid to get a free kombi ride to the city centre, was yesterday sentenced to an effective two years in jail.
Thembalenkosi Ndlovu, 26 of Kariangwe Village was convicted by magistrate Tinashe Tashaya on his own plea of guilt on charges of impersonating a police officer and unlawful possession of camouflaged uniform.
Two months were added after the State took into consideration Ndlovu’s previous conviction at the Kadoma Magistrate’s Courts again for impersonating a cop.
In passing sentence, magistrate Tashaya said: “You are an unrepentant criminal who has a previous conviction under CRB1258 in Kadoma. This is your second time to impersonate a police officer and clearly your conduct tarnishes the image of police.
“Wearing a police uniform is a very serious offence, which warrants a custodial sentence. You should therefore be taken out from society before you commit serious crimes in police uniform.”
On May 8 around 6am, the complainant Jabulani Mhlanga, a former cop, was driving a minibus when he picked the accused who was in police uniform at Sokusile Terminus in Nkulumane.
When the accused got into the kombi, the complainant observed that he was not properly dressed in his police uniform by police standards.
The court heard that the accused was putting on a blue police riot trousers with a civilian waist belt, grey police shirt with ZRP inspector rank titles, black civilian shoes and had no cap.
After suspecting that he might not be a bonafide cop, the complainant drove his vehicle to ZRP Drill Hall to alert the police.
Upon arrival, sensing danger, the accused quickly opened the front passenger door and scaled the fence before taking to his heels.
The complainant then hurriedly alerted the police officers who then reacted quickly by chasing him, leading to his arrest along Khami Road.