Zifa kidnap saga: CIO spy arrested

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A member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO), Richard Mubaiwa (31), has been arrested and charged with extorting $10 000 from Zimbabwe Football Association (Zifa) chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze after threatening him with elimination over his involvement in the Asiagate match-fixing investigations.

Mubaiwa is alleged to have claimed he had Mashingaidzes file containing information about the Asiagate scandal and the role he was playing in troubling and targeting innocent people.

It is also alleged Mubaiwa told Mashingaidze the file had pictures of world football governing body Fifa president Sepp Blatter, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.

The State secret agent reportedly told Mashingaidze the picture of the Prime Minister in his Zifa office was an indication he was a member of the MDC-T.

Mubaiwa, whose business address was cited in court as The Presidents Office, Chaminuka Building, in Harare, was charged alongside John Chari (32), a farmer at Shumba Farm in Banket.
Both mens residential addresses were provided in court papers as Unit A, Seke, Chitungwiza.

Four other unidentified men who are alleged to have been in the company of the two are reported to be at large.

Mubaiwa and Chari were not asked to plead when they appeared before Harare magistrate Anita Tshuma and were remanded in custody to today for continuation of their bail application.

According to State papers, Mubaiwa was arrested after being implicated by Chari, who was caught at Kensington Supermarket when he received
$2 000 from Mashingaidze following a trap set by the police last Wednesday.

Chari is alleged to have taken Mashingaidze inside the supermarket where he was handed over the cash in a khaki envelope and upon exiting the shop, plainclothes police officers pounced and arrested him.

The whole saga is said to have started on Tuesday last week at around 1600hrs when Mubaiwa allegedly phoned Mashingaidze and identified himself as Runanga from the Presidents Office.

Mubaiwa is alleged to have told Mashingaidze he was in possession of a file that had serious implications on him and further told him he was looking into his political background and his connection with the MDC-T.

Mubaiwa then requested to meet Mashingaidze at Chikwanha shopping centre in Chitungwiza to discuss the matter.

Having set the scene, Mubaiwa allegedly connived with Chari and tasked him to proceed to meet Mashingaidze at Chikwanha. When Mashingaidze arrived at the scene, he realised Chari was in the company of four unidentified men who were in a white kombi.

Chari allegedly took Mashingaidze to a secluded place behind Chikwanha shopping centre and was accompanied by another unidentified man who kept away from the two.

It was at this stage that Chari allegedly emphasised to Mashingaidze the seriousness of the allegations against him.

He is said to have told Mashingaidze there were six men including himself who had been appointed to deal with him.

Chari further told Mashingaidze that he would be eliminated unless he paid his bosses the required cash amounting to $6 000 or $10 000.

It is alleged Chari then asked Mashingaidze how much he had on his person and he produced $20 which Chari took and instructed him to go and look for the required cash.They then parted ways with Chari telling Mashingaidze he would contact him the following morning.

It is alleged on Tuesday last week, Mashingaidze advised Zifa president Dube and Retired Brigadier-General Eliot Kasu, the Zifa board member (finance), what Chari had said and the amount demanded.

On the same day at around 2:30pm, Mubaiwa is alleged to have provided Chari with his car to use in pursuing Mashingaidze.

It is alleged Chari later phoned Mashingaidze and told him to go to Avondale shopping centre with the cash.

The court heard that Mashingaidze teamed up with plainclothes police officers and proceeded to Avondale. While on their way, Chari phoned and told Mashingaidze to proceed to Spar Supermarket at Kensington shopping centre where they met, leading to his arrest.

After being interrogated by police, Chari is said to have implicated Mubaiwa, who was subsequently arrested.