HomeLocal NewsEx-cop up for extortion

Ex-cop up for extortion


A former police officer and Bulawayo socialite, Tinashe Chikara, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly demanding “protection fees” to the tune of $6 900 from a Victoria Falls safari operator.

Chikara, who had allegedly received $900 and two bottles of whisky earlier on, was nabbed following a trap as he was about to receive $6 000 cash from the same businessman.

The former police officer, popularly known for his gyrating rhumba dance moves at music shows and celebration parties hosted by politicians, had allegedly claimed to be connected to senior people in Matabeleland North and had demanded money to reward the senior officials for them to help ease skirmishes at the operator’s concessions in the resort town.

Matabeleland North police spokesperson Inspector Trust Ndlovu yesterday said Chikara (45) was arrested at a hotel in Victoria Falls soon after receiving trap money from the operator, Edmond Mukarakatirwa (40), in the presence of police officers who were undercover.

Mukarakatirwa is the chairman of Bona Safaris Unit 2 in Victorian Falls and a lease holder at Matetsi Unit.

“On 24 April, Mukarakatirwa left Harare for Matetsi to go and mitigate a series of disturbances which were happening at his concession. While passing through Bulawayo, Mukarakatirwa was introduced to the suspect by a friend,” said Ndlovu.

“The suspect alleged that he was connected to some high-positioned people in Matabeleland North and persuaded Mukarakatirwa to sleep over in Bulawayo saying he needed to consult the high-ranking people. The next day he said everything was in order and the bosses were aware of what was happening and promised that everything would be settled,” he said.

Ndlovu said Chikara alleged that the bosses had asked for two bottles of whisky and $900 as a token of appreciation and Mukarakatirwa complied.

He said Chikara then demanded $6 000 from all senior government officials in Matabeleland North whom he allegedly claimed to be involved in the deal.

“Mukarakatirwa then became suspicious because he had not realised anything to his advantage after giving the $900 and two bottles of whisky. He made a report to the police who arranged a trap,” said Ndlovu.

He said Mukarakatirwa agreed to give the suspect $6 000 which was to be paid at the hotel where the suspect was booked on Thursday as part of the trap.

“The suspect was given $2 000 trap money by Mukarakatirwa after which he was immediately arrested and the trap money was recovered,” said Ndlovu

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