TWO serving Mutare councillors and a former councillor yesterday appeared in court facing extortion charges.Councillor for ward 11, Farai Bhiza (38), John Nyamhoka (ward 17) and a former Zanu PF councillor for ward 17, Wellington Zambezi, appeared before magistrate Prisca Manhibi who remanded them to October 28 on $5 000 bail each.
BY KENNETH NYANGANI
It is the State case that sometime in 2018, the accused extorted US$250 from the complainant, Samuel Masaiti.Bhiza reportedly phoned the complainant and told him that he wanted money to regularise his stand in Chikanga area in Mutare.
Masaiti allegedly referred Bhiza to Tamayi Verenga. Zambezi went to see Verenga at Mutare Green Market where he received US$50.Zambezi then told Masaiti that the money was too little.
The following day, Bhiza met the complainant who gave him another US$200.
Bhiza allegedly handed over the money to Zambezi and Nyamhoka.The complainant made several follow-ups, but nothing materialised.
On September 21, 2020, the complainant made a report at Mutare Central Police Station, leading to the trio’s arrest.