Minister sucked into permit scam


Home Affairs co-minister Kembo Mohadi has been fingered in a case where a Chinese national — Li Chuanya — allegedly lost $765 to a Harare business executive in a botched citizenship deal.

The executive — a self-proclaimed consultant — Aneti Mbedzi — claimed to be the minister’s younger brother.

Mbedzi is employed as a finance manager by a Harare company and was arrested last Saturday by police over the matter.

It is understood sometime in February last year, Mbedzi allegedly met Li along Nelson Mandela Avenue where he introduced himself as the minister’s younger brother.

He allegedly indicated to Li he had gathered information she was in desperate need of Zimbabwean citizenship and that he was prepared to assist her.

“The accused further stated he had assisted a number of Chinese nationals to acquire Zimbabwean citizenship through the minister,” read part of the State outline on Wednesday.

Li was allegedly convinced after Mbedzi showed her papers purporting to be citizenship documents of other Chinese resident in Zimbabwe.

Days later, Mbedzi allegedly requested Li to pay $600 to facilitate the processing of the citizenship documents.

It is alleged Li was initially reluctant to pay, but was later convinced when Mbedzi took her to the minister’s office at Mukwati Building.

“The accused took her to Mukwati Building where he left her in the minister’s secretary’s office while he entered the minister’s office.

“After a couple of minutes, the accused emerged from the said office and signalled the complainant to follow him,” read the State outline.

“The accused told her the minister was very busy and could not attend to her.”

It is alleged Mbedzi later took Li to his offices where she paid $600 and five days later she paid another $100 which Mbedzi claimed was for the processing of the papers.

The State further alleged Mbedzi later took Li to a radiologist where she paid $65 for an X-ray which Mbedzi claimed was a requirement for citizenship processing.

But Mbedzi became evasive after failing to provide the papers, prompting Li to report the matter to police, leading to his arrest.

Mbedzi was not asked to plead when he appeared on summons before Harare magistrate Sandra Mupindu on Wednesday, charged with fraud.

Prosecutor Moffat Makuvatsine withdrew the matter after Li told the court she had received a full refund from Mbedzi.