Mnangagwa impersonator in court

HARARE - A man who masqueraded as Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa before swindling his victim of $3 000 has been arraigned before the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

Tarisai Chiriga, 24, who is jointly charged with Tinashe Muwandi, 33, is facing impersonation charges.

Though the State papers did not explain the circumstances leading to the complainant, whose name was not stated in court papers, being swindled, Chiriga reportedly called him on his mobile phone, claiming to be Mnangagwa in November this year.

This followed prior claims by the two that they were members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO).

Chiriga allegedly went on to call the complainant demanding money.

Allegations are that Chiriga threatened the complainant with death, if he failed to give him $3 000.

Prosecutor Sharon Mashavira said that Chiriga was later arrested on Monday after he solicited for a further $60 from the complainant.

The fake CIO documents that he used were recovered, following his arrest, which also led to Muwandi’s arrest.

During the duo’s bail hearing, Mashavira opposed Chiriga’s release, arguing that he was of no fixed abode and was facing fresh charges that are still to be brought before the court.

She said Chiriga also lied to the police that he worked at Steel World in Magaba, yet he is unemployed.

“The accused is likely to commit other crimes of a similar nature as he is in the habit of mentioning senior politicians and government officials to unsuspecting people,” she said.

Magistrate Elijah Makomo remanded the duo in custody to January 4, 2016, for their bail ruling, to give the police time to fully investigate the case.

Makomo, however, questioned the complainant’s line of business, considering how he was swindled through a mere phone call.

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