Although police have dropped charges against Food Mart General Manager Charl Howard in a high profile “ homosexuality” case, two Gaborone Central Police Station officers still face charges of receiving bribes.
Gaborone Central Police Station Commander, Superintendent Takongwa Mazwiduma told Sunday Standard this week.
The two police officers, Gilbert Matsiara and Kabelo Kentse, are alleged to have received a bribe of P1, 500 from Howard in order not to open a case of unnatural offence against him after he allegedly made homosexual advances to a male complainant.
Mazwiduma said Howard had not been charged because there was no evidence pointing out that he had committed any offence and that the accusation against him was baseless.
“We do not prosecute any matter that is brought to us and we have felt that we can not carry on with this matter because there was no evidence to do that with,” he said.
Asked why then the officers were facing criminal charges of having received a bribe from him for not having opened a case against him, he abruptly responded, “I am saying the officers are facing charges for having allegedly received a bribe from Howard but there is no evidence against Howard.”
He then excused himself and dropped the line.
Gaborone’s Extension Two Magistrate, Enoch Mazonde, is expected to rule tomorrow (Monday) on whether the case against the two police officers can be referred to the High Court for directions.
This happened after an argument raised by one of the lawyers in the matter that there was a difference between the hand written and typed statements in their possession.
Before the decision on whether to refer the case to the High Court, both lawyers conceded that there was no clear direction from past cases on what to do in such matters.
Amongst state evidence against the two accused police officers are photographs the state claims were taken during the alleged transaction between the accused persons and Howard in Gaborone’s Partial Mall. They are alleged to have been arrested immediately after receiving the bribe and that part of the money was found in their possession and later placed in envelopes as exhibits.