Man jailed for using minister’s signature


MUTARE – A 27-year-old Rusape man who last month attempted to extort money from a British national he accused of contravening the country’s immigration laws was slapped with a 12-month jail term last Friday.

The court heard that Booker Fungai Chinamasa claimed to be closely linked to Minister of State in the President’s Office Didymus Mutasa and threatened to cause the arrest and deportation of Abbas Macky for illegally staying in Zimbabwe.

He even produced a letter purportedly signed by Mutasa authorising the arrest and immediate deportation of Macky who was based in Mutare.

Magistrate Noah Gwatidzo sentenced him to 12 months in prison, but suspended three months on condition of good behaviour.

Chinamasa, who resides at Plot 1 Lusmore Herd Farm in Rusape, committed the offence at Wise Owl Motel in Mutare on November 20.

According to the State, Chinamasa approached Macky through his friend and accused Macky of being an illegal diamond dealer and also having connections with rebels in West Africa.

Chinamasa demanded $5 000 cash so that he would pull the strings and nullify the deportation order.

Police set up a trap in the hotel room where Chinamasa was booked and later recovered three copies of the purported deportation orders.