Two members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) and a police officer have appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court facing extortion and theft charges.
Source: CIO pair, cop up for $19 990 extortion – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 22, 2016
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Clever Gadzikwa, who is based at Southerton Police Station, Mbereki Mbizo Nyathi and Vengai Zano, who are both members of the CIO, were on Friday granted $150 bail each by Harare magistrate, Vongai Muchuchuti.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered to report once at CID Serious Fraud Harare Central every Friday.
The complainant in the matter is a Chinese national, who is the co-owner of Valedge Investment (Pvt) Ltd, which specialises in maize milling and cornflakes manufacturing.
Allegations are that on June 13 this year at around 3pm, Zano and Gadzikwa together with one Nguwaya, who is already on remand, and two other suspects yet to be identified, went to the complainant, who is not named in court papers.
Upon arrival, they presented themselves as a team comprising members of the CID, President’s Office and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and wanted to check his company’s documents.
The suspects flashed their identity documents to the complainant and demanded him to surrender his cellphone.
Gadzikwa, Zano and Nguwaya allegedly told the complainant that Chinese nationals were sabotaging the Zimbabwean economy by failing to bank proceeds from their business ventures, a malpractice which they said had been condemned by President Robert Mugabe.
The State alleges the complainant produced his company’s daily bank deposit slips as proof that he was banking.
The suspects allegedly took the complainant to his other company situated at Number 30 Edson Crescent, Graniteside, Harare, where they met the complainant’s business partner, Muhammad Ishfaq, who was with his employees.
Zano allegedly demanded company documents, which Ishfaq produced. It is alleged Zano and his associates then accused the complainant of flouting Zimbabwean laws.
The complainant was asked if he knew any police officers whom he could call to confirm the genuineness of the team.
The complainant was given back his mobile phone and contacted a Superintendent Tachiona of CID Homicide, who then came to the scene.
When Supt Tachiona arrived, he spoke to Nguwaya, who told him that they were on a sanctioned operation.
The State alleges Tachiona demanded to know the person who was responsible for the operation and Nguwaya gave him Nyathi’s number, which Tachiona recognised.
Tachiona allegedly called Nyathi on his mobile phone, who confirmed the team was on a sanctioned operation.
Tachiona allegedly informed the complainant to co-operate, as the operation was sanctioned and left. Gadzikwa, Zano and Nguwaya then continued with their “operation”.
The State alleges the suspects continued instilling fear in the complainant by indicating they knew where he stayed, the type of car his wife drove and the school his children attend.
The State alleges Nguwaya then took $5 000 and handed it to Gadzikwa, who then went out with two other unidentified accomplices.
Nguwaya allegedly remained inside with Zano and forced the complainant to open a cash box, which was on his desk and he took $15 000 and placed it in an envelope.
They allegedly told the complainant that they were taking the money as evidence of hoarding and smuggling of cash. The complainant then requested money for fuel and he was given $10.
Zano then gave the complainant his mobile phone number and advised him to call should he encounter any challenges with the authorities in future.
The complainant, together with his partner, believed that the suspects were on a sanctioned operation and decided not to report the matter.
On August 17, the complainant reported the matter after discovering that the suspects were not on duty when they took the money from him.
The total amount allegedly stolen was $19 990 and nothing was recovered.
The matter was remanded to December 1.
Audry Chogumaira appeared for the State.