$3m diamond scam takes new twist

THE alleged $3 million diamond scam involving a Mutare-based businessman, Mudassar Khan, has taken a new twist with police forensic experts ruling that a document at the centre of the scandal which was previously dismissed as fake is in fact genuine.

OBEY MANAYITI
STAFF REPORTER

In March this year two prominent Mutare lawyers, Chris Ndlovu and Rangarirai Mubata, were detained at Mutare Central Police Station for allegedly forging an affidavit in which one Albie Marima wrote that some people in Mutare were extorting money from Khan under the name of senior Zanu PF officials and government officials.

After writing his affidavit, Marima went on to distance himself from his document which alleged that another Mutare businessman, Tino Machakaire, had extorted money purportedly to give it to Defence minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton Bonyongwe.

This led to the arrest of the two lawyers and Khan for forgery and the matter is expected to proceed by way of summons.

However, the signature on the disputed affidavit was sent to ZRP’s Forensic Science Laboratory to determine its authenticity.

The forensic exercise was done by Clara Tendai Gombakomba, the principal forensic scientist at the Forensic Science Laboratory in the ZRP.

“Request samples twenty-six sheets of paper labelled as Albie Marima’s Request Signature samples. The examination was carried out and similar constructional characteristics between the Questioned Signatures, the Standard Signatures on Barclays Withdrawal Slips and the Request Signatures were observed,” read the forensic result dated May 21.

“It is, therefore, my opinion that these signatures were made by the same person.”

Meanwhile, the much-awaited trial in the matter in which Khan is being accused of unlawful dealing in diamonds worth approximately $3 million is expected to open on Monday.

However, drama is expected to unfold on Monday after six other State witnesses, who are employees of Mbada Diamonds, claimed they were tortured by police to implicate Khan.

They have since sued Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi, Chihuri and four other senior police officers for a whopping $2,1 million in damages.

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