The Herald (Harare)

15 January 2013

Zimbabwe: Police Chief Impersonator Nabbed

A Harare man has been arrested for allegedly using the name of Deputy Commissioner General Godwin Matanga in defrauding a businessman he had helped to win a Government tender.

Michael Tapfumanei Chizarura (40) facilitated a tender for Bright Hill investments owned by Michael Kandengwa to supply service equipment worth almost US$200 000 to the Zimbabwe Republic police.

It is alleged Chizarura misrepresented to Kandengwa that DCG Matanga was demanding 10 percent of the payment he would receive from Government.

He added that DCG Matanga was also interested in taking over his company, Bright Hill Investments.

Chizarura yesterday appeared before Magistrate Mr Tendai Mahwe charged with fraud. He was remanded in custody to today for bail application.

The State led by Mr Tungamirai Chakurira opposed bail.

It is alleged that sometime in February last year, Chizarura advised Kandengwa that the ZRP intended to purchase equipment to be used in the Criminal Investigations Department.

Kandengwa, the court heard, won the tender to supply the equipment worth US$197 485. The equipment, which was purchased from Austria was delivered to the ZRP on November 21.

It is alleged that Kandengwa went to collect his payment from ZRP when Chizarura approached him and misrepresented to him that DCG Matanga was demanding 10 percent of the payment he was going to receive from Government.

He added that DCG Matanga was also interested in taking over his company, Bright Hill Investments, and had sent him to negotiate an exit package for him.

Through the misrepresentation and out of fear, Kandengwa started negotiating with Chizarura on the exit package.

On different occasions, Chizarura told Kandengwa that he was still negotiating with DCG Matanga and would demand out of pocket allowance to entertain him during the meetings.

Kandengwa gave him US$300, which he converted to personal use.

Kandengwa, the court heard demanded a onceoff payment of US$25 000 as his exit package but Chizarura told him that DCG Matanga was willing to give him US$10 000.

Chizarura drafted a memorandum of agreement between him and Kandengwa, which purported Kandengwa was resigning as the director of Bright Hill thereby transferring the company shares to Chizarura.

On December 17, he again crafted a distribution sheet showing how the US$197 485 was going to be disbursed. He lied to Kandengwa that it had been made by DCG Matanga.

According to the distribution sheet, 'DCG Matanga' was to receive US$42 048 and US$25 759 was set aside for 'VAT'. After seeing the distribution list, Kandengwa became suspicious and on January 8 this year, he gathered courage and proceeded to DCG Matanga's office and narrated his story.

It is the State's case that DCG Matanga told Kandengwa that he was not even aware of the dealings.

He then ordered police officers to investigate the case.

Chizarura was arrested at his rural home on January 12 and upon questioning, he maintained that of the US$42 048, he was going to get US$6 000 and was to give DCG Matanga US$18 000. He added that US$7 000 was to be shared among an assistant commissioner only identified as Macheka, and a detective Inspector Mhaza while one Kaitano Dube was going to receive US$5 000, it is alleged.

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