Man arrested near ED with loaded firearm

HARARE  - Self-styled prophet Gathry Chiredzero was busted while advancing towards President Emmerson Mnangagwa with a loaded gun and fake Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) identification at a State function, a Harare court heard yesterday.

Chiredzero was charged with possession of offensive weapons at public gathering, impersonating a public official and forgery when he appeared before Harare magistrate, Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa, yesterday.

He was represented by John Ndomene and will be back in court today for his bail application.

Prosecutor Tatenda Murindagomo alleged that on December 4, there was an inauguration ceremony at State House for cabinet ministers.

Chiredzero was spotted near State House by the podium controlling movement of people, masquerading as a security agent.

The court heard that it was later established Chiredzero had produced a fake CIO identity card at the security check point to gain entry into the State House.

On December 6, there was a ceremony for renaming King George V1 Barracks to Josiah Magamba Tongogara Barracks and the programme was officiated by Mnangagwa and he arrived driving a blue BMW X5 registration numbers ADI3317.

The court heard that Chiredzero approached the Zimbabwe Defence Intelligence personnel manning the main gate where he identified himself and his accomplices as CIO Close Security Unit Officers who had been deployed to beef up Mnangagwa’s security.

He reportedly produced a fake CIO identity card bearing his names and was given free passage into the premises before proceeding to the hall where celebrations were in progress.

It was alleged that Chiredzero then positioned himself near the podium where Mnangagwa was addressing the gathering and was intercepted by an alert military officer who inquired into his presence.

The court heard that Chiredzero said he was a member of the CIO and produced the fake identity card and it was immediately established that he was impersonating a security official.

When his accomplices realised that he had been caught, they quickly vanished from the scene.

Chiredzero was searched and found in possession of a 38 Special Amadeo Rossi S.A revolver serial loaded with three live rounds and two spent cartridges.

He also had a fake Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission identity card inscribed Government of Zimbabwe executive director, Anti-Corruption, which he claimed to have obtained from the CIO and a fake metal driver’s licence.