BY RICHARD MUPONDE
A ZANU PF youth on Friday heaved a sigh of relief after he was acquitted on a charge of allegedly using President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name to extort a woman of US$12 000.
Blessed Mushando (27) of Bulawayo had pleaded not guilty to fraud when his trial started before Bulawayo magistrate, Tinashe Tashaya.
In acquitting him, the magistrate noted that the State had failed to prove its case beyond any reasonable doubt.
He was being represented by Byron Sengweni.
Leonard Chile, who represented the State, said on March 24, Mushando allegedly drove a Zanu-PF branded vehicle to Shangani, where he met the complainant, Priscilla Ncube, at Tobo mining syndicate.
It was stated that he misrepresented himself, telling Ncube that she should pay US$12 000 to Mnangagwa for her to secure the mine.
It was heard that on the same day, Mushando extorted Ncube of
US$2 000, after telling her that he had the capacity to assist her in securing the mine. He reportedly told her that the mine had been targeted by the President’s Office in turning around the economy, as it was rich in gold.
Mushando was allegedly given the money by one Dumisani Ndlovu on behalf of Ncube.
On March 26, Mushando allegedly contacted Ncube, while he was in Harare telling her that she needed to pay the balance to conclude the deal. Ncube is said to have paid the US$10 000 with the hope that the mine would, indeed, be secured.
However, she later realised that she had been duped, as the mine had been taken over by someone else, and made a police report, which led to Mushando’s arrest.