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Zanu-PF extortionists milk Chinese firm

by Staff reporter
30 Apr 2023 at 09:00hrs | Views
Former vice-president Kembo Mohadi's name was used by two Zanu-PF officials to extort US$110 000 from a Chinese company that wanted to open a gold mine in Matabeleland South, court records have revealed.

Zanu-PF league members from Bulawayo, Blessed Mushando (34) and Mtunzi Mabhena (34) who are set to appear in court in June before Harare magistrate Taurai Manuwere are said to have used the top ruling party official's name to illegally get money from the Chinese company.

Mushando, Mabhena and Max Mpungu (32), who are cited as the first, second and third accused persons respectively, are facing eight fraud charges and a count of extortion.

According to court papers, Mushando is listed as the Zanu-PF Bulawayo youth league chairperson and Mabhena, a committee member.

The case was investigated by the Police Anti-Corruption Unit (PACU) under DR 03/09/20209.

The complainant is True Double Investment (Pvt) Limited, a company into alluvial gold mining registered in Zimbabwe. It is represented by one of its managing directors Cheng Minghua.

Prosecutors are alleging that sometime in October 2O18, Minghua was introduced by his friend Mike Kutsoko to Mushando and Mabhena.

Mushando indicated that he was the secretary to the then vice-president Mohadi, who resigned in 2021 after he was caught up in a sex scandal.

He remains Zanu-PF's second in command.

It is alleged that on a date unknown to the state, but in October 2018, Mushando and Mabhena arranged for a meeting with Minghua at Holiday Inn Hotel, Harare.

Minghua attended the meeting with his co-director, Chong Yongde.

During the meeting, Mushando and Mabhena told the complainants that they should engage Mohadi if they wanted a gold mining licence.

They claimed that Mohadi needed US$20 000 to facilitate the deal, and they were given the money.

Prosecutors, say there was never such an agreement with Mohadi.

A week later, Mushando and Mabhena claimed to have arranged another meeting with Mohadi and they went to his  office with the complainants.

They met Mohadi, but he allegedly did not mention anything to do with money and instead promised to help the investors in establishing the mine.

It is alleged that after a few days, Mushando and Mabhena visited the complainants indicating that officials at the Mines  ministry in Matabeleland South needed US$17 000 as facilitation fees.

It is alleged that on April 10, 2019, Mushando and Mabhena were hosted by Minghua and his co-director Laura Melane  where the duo indicated that Mohadi was not happy with the delayed payments.

They warned the Chinese investors that they risked losing out on the deal to some Russian miners.

"(The) complainant then indicated that he would want to personally hand over the money to  the vice-president and accused one later called purportedly to facilitate a meeting between complainant and the vice president," court papers read.

"In the company of his co-director Yongde, (the) complainant drove and met accused one at Holiday lnn, Harare, car park from there they drove to the vice-president's office.

"At the vice-president's office, complainant and his co-director handed over US$5 000 to accused one and were left in the waiting room while accused one proceeded to arrange the meeting.

"Accused one later returned indicating that the vice-president was too busy that he could not see them and had handed over the money to the vice-president's secretary, which never was the case."

Prosecutors alleged that the duo hatched a plan to defraud the complainants and they forged a receipt number RC1300 with a value of US$5 900 purporting it had originated from Umguza District Council for mining levies.

The prosecutors said sometime in September 2019, the complainants were approached by the duo and they indicated that Mohadi had some problems with his cattle farming project and needed US$8 000.

The complainants refused to give them more money.

However, the complainant later received a call from Mpungu who claimed he was Mohadi's son and needed the money,

It is alleged the complainants asked him to come and collect the money in person, but Mpungu refused saying he was at the airport en-route to South Africa and they gave the money to the duo.

The state alleged that the complainant lost US$110 400 and nothing was recovered.

Source - The Standard