CIO imposter appears in court

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HARARE man Barnwell Garufu yesterday appeared before magistrate Victoria Mashamba facing charges of masquarading as a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative at a bar in the company of an another person still at large who claimed to be Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s son.

PAIDAMOYO MUZULU

Garufu is facing charges of impersonating a public official as defined in Section 179 of the Criminal Law Codification Reform Act Chapter 9:23.

According to the State papers, Garufu was in the company of another person who claimed to be Emmerson Junior during a Sulumani Chimbetu’s birthday celebration at the Private Lounge in Harare.

“The invited guests started to pledge some presents and introducing themselves. At the time the accused person and his accomplice, who is still at large, went to the stage and introduced himself as a member of the CIO as well as Emmerson Junior,” the State alleges.

Mnangagwa’s relative Andrew Manongore, who was in the crowd, realised that the accused were impostors and alerted police officers who were at the bar.

“The complainant was surprised to hear the accused person introducing himself as Emmerson Junior as well as a member from the CIO since he is related to the Vice-President and had never seen him before,” the State papers added.

The State has four witnesses who would testify against the accused when the matter resumes on June 10 for trial.

Garufu, who is being represented by Tawanda Takaendesa is denying the charges.

Garufu applied for bail arguing that he was a suitable candidate despite the prosecutor Netsai Mushayabasa arguing against granting of the bail.

Mushayabasa argued: “There is a likelihood that the accused would commit more offences given the modus operandi he used to commit this crime if released on bail and the fact that his accomplice is still at large.”

However, Takaendesa countered saying: “The State has a very weak case against the accused and that he did not try to run away after his arrest as indicated in the State’s outline.”

“The State may impose stringent bail conditions if it so wishes to my client whom we believe is a proper candidate for bail,” he added. Mashamba was still to make a decision on the bail application.