The Herald (Harare)

2 March 2012

Zimbabwe: Bail Ruling On CIO Operative On Extortion Today

A HARARE magistrate will today rule on the bail application by a Central Intelligence Organisation operative and a Banket farmer accused of extorting money from Zifa chief executive Jonathan Mashingaidze.

Richard Mubaiwa (31) and Banket farmer John Chari (32) allegedly told Mashingaidze that he was on the elimination list over his involvement in the Asiagate scandal and his links with Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai.

The pair is appearing before Harare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma who heard submissions from the State and defence lawyers.

Defence lawyers Mr Gregory Nyamupanedengu and Mr Tapiwa Makanza of Matimba and Muchengeti argue that their clients are suitable candidates for bail as they were eager to stand trial.

However, prosecutor Mr David Magwegwe argued that the two were hard core criminals and if released will commit similar offences. He also argued that they were likely to interfere with investigations since they were well connected.

It is alleged that last Tuesday at around 4pm Mubaiwa phoned Mr Mashingaidze and identified himself as Run'anga from the President's Office.

He allegedly told him that he was in possession of a file that had serious implications on him. The State says he claimed that the file in question had information about the Asiagate scandal and the role he was playing in troubling innocent people.

It is alleged he told him that the file had pictures of Fifa president Sepp Blatter, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.

Mubaiwa, it is alleged, told Mr Mashingaidze that he had pictures of the Prime Minister in his Zifa office.

He said this was an indication that he was a member of the MDC-T.

The CIO operative said he was looking into his political background, which includes his connection with the MDC-T. It is alleged Mubaiwa connived with Chari whom he briefed about the discussion he had with the complainant and tasked him to proceed and meet the complainant at the said place and discuss the matter while he was waiting for him. On the same day at around 7pm, the complainant proceeded as requested by Mubaiwa and along the way he was communicating with him on where to meet. The complainant was received by Chari in the company of four other unidentified men who were in a parked white kombi.

Chari, it is alleged, took Mr Mashingaidze to a secluded place behind Chikwanha Shopping Centre and was accompanied by another unidentified man who kept a distance.

It is alleged Chari emphasised to the complainant the seriousness of the allegations against him and he told him that there were six men including him appointed to deal with him.

It is alleged he told Mr Mashingaidze that he was to be eliminated and that his bosses required US$10 000 or US$6 000 to avoid being eliminated and be protected.

Chari, the State says, asked the complainant how much money he had on him and the complainant produced US$20.

Chari allegedly told him to go and look for the required money and indicated to him that he was going to contact him the following morning.

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