A Harare man yesterday appeared in court for allegedly abusing the name of Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) Commissioner-General Retired Major-General Paradzai Zimondi to extort money from the daughter of Zimbabwe's Ambassador to Belgium, Mr Tadeous Chifamba, of US$2 000.
Miss Kudzai Chifamba lost the money to Chamunorwa Shumba Baye, who made her believe that he had links with the prisons boss and could facilitate a tender for her to supply uniforms to the ZPCS.
He demanded a "facilitation fee" from Kudzai, which he promised to forward to Comm-Gen Zimondi. It later turned out that Baye was a conman and he had no relationship with Comm-Gen Zimondi.
It also came to light that ZPCS has its own factory that produces uniforms and that it does not buy from third parties.
Baye was not asked to plead to extortion when he appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko. He was granted $100 bail and ordered not to interfere with State witnesses.
It is alleged that sometime in October 2018, Baye met Kudzai at No. 19 Caithness Street in Eastlea, Harare.
Baye allegedly told her that he had the capacity to secure her a tender to supply uniforms using his links with Comm-Gen Zimondi. The court heard that Baye demanded a facilitation fee of US$5 000.
It is the State's case that Kudzai failed to raise the money, but Baye put pressure on her to pay the money or risk losing the tender opportunity.
The court heard that a few days later, Kudzai raised US$2 000, which she gave to Baye in the presence of Michelle Gwatimba and Chantelle Chidzidzi.
The State further contends that Kudzai patiently waited to be considered for the supply of the uniforms to ZPCS, but to no avail.
Baye became evasive, resulting in Kudzai approaching Comm-Gen Zimondi to inquire about the tender only to discover that she had been duped.