‘Fake VID officers’ denied bail

TWO Harare men, who masqueraded as officials from the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) and issuing out fake drivers’ licences, will remain in remand prison after the High Court denied them bail. 

Tendekayi Madongorere and Julius Punungwe were arrested in 2015 as part of a six-man crew that allegedly operated in Marondera. 

The duo’s initial bail application was dismissed after the Chitungwiza Magistrate’s Court ruled that there was a high chance that they would abscond from justice. 

High Court judge, Justice Jester Helena Charewa agreed with the lower court’s decision and noted that the duo would likely abscond and flee from standing trial if granted bail. 

“Consequently, I cannot find that there was any misdirection by the court a quo that appellants are a flight risk given that they were found with the wherewithal and proof that they are alleged to have the skill and knowledge to generate security documents, are likely to receive lengthy custodial sentence…” ruled Justice Charewa. 

The judge also noted that Madongorere and Punungwe should remain in custody as the crime they are accused of committing could have led to the endangerment of members of the public. 

“Clearly it goes without saying that where non-security agents can pose as such because of fake documentation allegedly generated by appellants, it is but a short step to undermining peace and security which would render the public unsafe,” Justice Charewa added. 

“For instance, the production and dissemination of fake drivers’ licences are likely to lead to persons without the necessary driving skills on the roads, causing road carnage. I cannot therefore agree that the issue of peace and security is not a by-product or offshoot of safety.” 

The duo was arrested in 2015 after the police received a tip off that they were issuing out fake drivers’ licences to several unsuspecting prospective drivers in Marondera. 

During Madongorere and Punungwe’s arrest, police recovered VID shirts, a mobile phone line where licence seekers were asked to deposit their bribe money, five fake drivers’ licence discs and a number of driver’s licence photos.