The Mushonga saga: police caught in web of lies

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Police have been fingered in a web of lies surrounding the disputed estate of the late Dr Chris Mushonga.

Last week police claimed they had arrested Rudairo Chitseko, the late doctor’s PA, on suspicion of fraud and theft from the estate.

But yesterday Chitseko set the record straight – there was no arrest and no charges preferred against her.

Instead she recounted how at the break of dawn last Thursday plain clothes policemen threatened her with arrest.

Chitseko, who lives with her parents in Highfields in Harare, said she was woken by the noise of two men shaking her gate.

“I was terrified. I opened my bedroom window and asked them what they wanted,” recalled Chitseko.

“They said they were looking for a Rungano Chitseko. I said I did not know any one by that name. They then asked me what my name was. I gave them my name and they told me I was the person they wanted to arrest,” said Chitseko.

She said it took the plainclothes policemen about 20 minutes to produce a police identity card.

By that time Chitseko’s cousin had noticed an unmarked car parked next door.

“I refused to open the gate and instead called my employer Priscilla Misihairabwi-Mushonga and a lawyer,” said Chitseko.

Misihairabwi-Mushonga, the minister of regional integration and international cooperation, arrived on the scene shortly afterwards.

By that time the unmarked vehicle had sped off and the two police details were left to face the minister.

Unable to produce any warrant of arrest the police tried to leave, but they were persuaded to travel to Harare Central Police Station in the minister’s car.

“The police woman tried to get away saying she needed to go to her home in Glen Norah to catch a bath,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga.

At the police station the officer in charge declined to take a statement. He even said there were no charges against Chitseko. All this was said in the presence of renowned lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa.

Yesterday the police could not shed any light on why they had lied that they had arrested Chitseko.

Last Thursday a policeman who identified himself as Sergeant Supurai said Chitseko had been picked up for stealing rentals from the late doctors properties.

The police also claimed some of the vehicles belonging to the late Dr Mushonga had disappeared.

Earlier this week, Misihairabwi-Mushonga who had been married to doctor Mushonga for 13 years before his tragic death last year, ended her dispute with her late husband’s children.

“I have decided to relinquish any claim or right to the estate as defined in the late Dr Mushonga’s last will and testament,” said Misihairabwi-Mushonga at a Press briefing on Tuesday.

The disputed estate was being administered by Israel Gumunyu. The executor was named in a document circulated to the attorney general by the doctor’s sons as a complainant.

The document alleges that the minister interfered with police investigations into how the estate would be handled.

Commissioner Augustine Chihuri has reportedly told Misihairabwi-Mushonga that police have no business handling “estates” unless they are instructed by the courts to do so.

Yesterday Chitseko said she was still traumatised by the episode.

“My aunt collapsed when she read in the newspaper that I had been arrested.”

“Until now I have not been arrested,” said the professional personal assistant.