6 January 2013

Zimbabwe: War Vets Face Extortion Charges

Mutare — Four war veterans last week appeared in court here facing extortion charges after demanding US$500 from Mountview Hotel.

The four: Lucia Taremba (53), Robson Mutombo (56), Isaac Mangenje (54) and Job Marange (51) were not asked to plead when they appeared before Mutare magistrate Charles Murowe.

They were however, remanded out of custody to January 8 on a US$30 bail each.

The four former freedom fighters are being charged with extortion as defined in section 134 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

According to the State led by Nelson Makunyire, charges against the four are that on December 8 last year they unlawfully put pressure on Panganai Ndongwe of Mountview Hotel with the purpose of extortion.

On the day in question, the four arrived at the hotel and introduced themselves as members of the Zimbabwe National Liberation War Veterans Association (ZNLWVA).

They demanded money saying it was for the association's coffers and would fund a trip to Tanzania to "collect" the spirits of freedom fighters who died in that country during the liberation struggle.

Makunyire said after pressuring the hotel staff, the four walked away with US$500 which they used for personal business.

A police report was made leading to the arrest of the four.

Nothing was recovered.

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