HomeLocal NewsMpofu name surfaces in court

Mpofu name surfaces in court

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The names of Mines and Mining Development minister Obert Mpofu, Matabeleland North governor Thokozile Mathuthu and two senior police officers from the region have been dropped in a $700 fraud case involving a private safari operator in Victoria Falls.

A former police officer, Tinashe Chikara (44), implicated the senior Zanu PF officials and the police’s regional top brass when he appeared in court on Monday facing charges of defrauding Edmond Mukarakatirwa, a Harare-based safari operator with concessions in Matetsi safari area, Victoria Falls.

Chikara allegedly further misrepresented to the safari operator while in Victoria Falls that Mathuthu, Police Commissioner Charles Mufandaedza and Matabeleland North police commander, Senior Assistant Commissioner Edmore Veterai, had demanded $6 000 to assist him quell a dispute at his concessions.

The complainant became suspicious and made a police report.

Chikara was arrested after receiving part payment of $2 000 after a trap was set inside Mukarakatirwa’s hotel room in Victoria Falls.

Chikara, of 88 ZRP Western Commonage in Bulawayo, was nabbed on June 30 on two counts of defrauding Mukarakatirwa of $600 and two bottles of whisky valued at $100.

The State alleges Chikara claimed the payment was inducement for Mpofu, Mathuthu and two senior police officers to use their influence to quell problems that had erupted at the businessman’s concession.

Hwange resident magistrate Colleate Ncube remanded Chikara in custody to July 18 after ruling him an unsuitable candidate for bail, considering the gravity of the offence.

In denying him bail, Ncube said Chikara could abscond as the State had overwhelming evidence against him to secure a conviction.

Charges against Chikara stem from last week, when he met Mukarakatirwa in Bulawayo. The safari operator was heading to Victoria Falls to attend to problems which had erupted at his concessions.

However, Chikara allegedly advised him he was linked to senior government officials and police officers who could help him solve the problems.

Chikara demanded that the operator should give him a bottle of whisky for Mpofu, another bottle of whisky and $300 for Veterai and another $300 for a Masuku, whose full name was not given in court.

Through this alleged misrepresentation, the State alleged, he was given the money and the two bottles of whisky valued at $100.

Chikara allegedly converted both the money and the liquor to his own use.

Sifelumuzi Fuzane prosecuted.

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