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Mnangagwa 'loyalist' arrested for $12k extortion

by Staff reporter
09 Jun 2019 at 08:17hrs | Views
One of President Emmerson Mnagagwa's fierce supporters from the days he was angling to succeed former President Robert Mugabe has been arrested for extorting a woman of  US$12 000 using the Zimbabwean leader's name.

Blessing Mushando, one of the Zanu-PF youths, that booed former First Lady Grace Mugabe at the White City Stadium in Bulawayo before the November 2017 coup, was arrested in a pre dawn raid at flat in the Bulawayo city centre.

The arrest of Mushando, who has posted a lot of pictures posing with Mnangagwa at different functions, followed  joint investigations by teams from  the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) from Harare and Bulawayo.

Sources close to Mushando said his arrest signals a fall out with the Mnangagwa administration a development that is likely to see him facing prosecution for a number of other crimes ranging from extortion to violence whose dockets had been "frozen" because of his links to the high offices.

It is said, after his arrest, Mushando tried in vain to have Vice President Kembo Mohadi rescue him as the vice president refused to be involved in the matter.

Mushando,  arrested over similar charges in 2017, is accused of duping a woman of USD$12 000, after he allegedly told her that he was linked to President Mnangagwa and could liaise with his office to secure her mining interests.

Mushando briefly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Miss Nomasiko Ndlovu facing charges of fraud and was remanded in custody to tomorrow for bail hearing.

According to court records Mushando, on 24 March this year reportedly drove a Zanu-PF branded vehicle to Shangani, where he met the complainant, Ms Priscilla Ncube at Tobo mining syndicate. It was stated that he misrepresented himself, telling Ms Ncube that she should pay
US$12 000 to President Mnangagwa for her to secure the mine.

It was then noted that on the same day Mushando extorted Ms Ncube of USD$2 000, after telling her that he had the capacity to assist her in securing the mine. He reportedly told her that the mine had been targeted by the President's Office in turning around the economy, as it was rich in gold. Mushando was allegedly given the money by one Dumisani Ndlovu on behalf of Ms Ncube.

On 26 March Mushando reportedly contacted Ms Ncube, while he was in Harare telling her that she needed to pay the balance to conclude the deal. Ms Ncube is said to have paid the US$10 000 with the hope that the mine would indeed be secured.

Ms Ncube, sometime last week, after realising that she had been duped, as the mine had been taken by someone else, made a police report, which led to Mushando's arrest yesterday.

It was reported that in 2017 Mushando and an accomplice Tichaona Chikwava allegedly approached Mr Robert Noel Peter Gugo, who was the operations manager at Tribal Logistics Company with a fake letter bearing a Zanu-PF logo and allegedly written by the party's provincial treasurer, Simon Khabo, requesting for $1 000 to cover funeral expenses for a former chairperson in the party. The duo allegedly even produced a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death referring to the deceased as Mpofu.

Mr Gugo became suspicious and carried out investigations leading to him discovering that the request was not genuine. He alerted the police at Donnington who rushed to the scene and found the two receiving money.

Mushando was asked to present himself at Donnington Police Station since he was driving his own car but allegedly disappeared along the way. Follow-ups were made leading to his arrest.

Source - sundaynews