Hit man who exposed Mzembi assassination plot freed on bail

HARARE - A self-confessed hit man who testified to the police alleging a senior government official issued him an assassination order to take out former Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi appeared in court yesterday.

Munyaradzi  Mupazviripo had claimed in a police report lodged at Borrowdale Police Station that Tourism and Hospitality Industry permanent secretary Bradah Maunganidze had told him he would receive a $50 000 cash payment for executing Mzembi.

He was picked up by police in an unrelated case of supplying false information to the police in relation to a fracas at the Agriculture ministry. He has been detained since Wednesday.

Mupazviripo, 44, was released on $30 bail yesterday when he appeared before Harare magistrate Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa charged with disorderly conduct in a public place and deliberately supplying false information to a public authority.

The charges relate to accusations that Mupazviripo staged a scene at the Agriculture ministry offices over an offer letter. He later filed a police report alleging that the deputy Agriculture minister David Marapira  had threatened him with a gun.

His lawyer Admire Rubaya made formal complaints that his client was tortured by police, prompting Mugwagwa to order an investigation into the matter.

“…he was assaulted by certain individuals in a police station and will lodge a criminal complaint. The accused person was hauled into a certain office at the underground floor at CID Homicide and was made to crawl while being assaulted. His jacket and cellphone were destroyed during the attack,” Rubaya said.

Prosecutor Sabastian Mutizirwa alleged that on January 23, Mupazviripo went to the ministry of Lands offices following up on an offer letter for a piece of land at Magar Farm in Marondera.

He was allegedly advised that he could not be given an offer letter for the said piece of land since it already had lawful occupants.

The court heard that Mupazviripo met the acting director Rural Resettlement Kundai Makuku who asked him how he wanted to be assisted. It is alleged he started shouting at her saying she was a liar and corrupt.

Mupazviripo allegedly stopped shouting after the intervention of the deputy minister and was handed over to security personnel who dragged him to the police for disorderly conduct.

It was further alleged that while at Harare Central Police Station, Mupazviripo  reportedly lied to constable Wasara that Marapira had pointed a firearm at him during the time he inquired about his offer letter.

The report was booked at Harare Central Crime Register number 1486/01/18 and was referred to homicide department for further management.

The State claims investigations revealed that Mupazviripo was restrained by Marapira after shouting at Makuku before being handed over to the police for disorderly conduct.

He claimed he had been beaten up for allegedly leaking classified information to the media about the Mzembi assassination plot and attempting to soil the image of government as well as scuttling re-engagement efforts. 

He claims he was infact arrested for leaking top secret information to a news organisation over Mzembi’s execution and also alleges he was accused of being a member of the G40 Zanu PF faction that was backing former first lady Grace Mugabe. 


 

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