'CIO operative has case to answer'

HARARE - A Harare magistrate has ruled that a Central Intelligence Organisation operative who allegedly fleeced Zifa chief executive officer Jonathan Mashingaidze has a case to answer.

Magistrate Tendai Mahwe last Friday dismissed Richard Mubaiwa’s application for discharge at the close of the state case.

Mahwe said Mubaiwa, who is jointly charged with a Banket farmer John Chari, has issues that he needs to clarify and should be put to his defence.

Mubaiwa had told the court during the application for discharge that he never used any illegitimate pressure on Mashingaidze and that he did not have any direct contact with him.

However, magistrate Mahwe said there was an element of connivance in the case.

The two are facing extortion charges. They allegedly demanded money from Mashingaidze as a “protection fee” for his supposed political links to the mainstream MDC and role in match fixing investigations.

It being alleged that Mubaiwa phoned Mashingaidze on February 21 this year, identifying himself as Run’anga from the president’s office.

He told him that he was in possession of a file that had information concerning his role in the Asiagate scandal, the court was told.

It is further alleged he told Mashingaidze that the file had pictures of Fifa president Sepp Blatter, President Robert Mugabe, Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai and Zifa president Cuthbert Dube.

Mubaiwa allegedly accused Mashingaidze of having pictures of Tsvangirai in his Zifa office, which he said could be an indication that he is a member of the mainstream MDC.

He further said that he was looking into Mashingaidze’s political background and his connection with the MDC, before requesting to meet with him at Chikwanha Shopping Centre to discuss the issue, the court heard.

The pair demanded $10 000 or $6 000 from Mashingaidze to ensure his protection. Mashingaidze later paid $2 000 as part of a trap that led to the two men’s arrest. The trial continues on October 4. - Tendai Kamhungira


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