ZBC Radio Presenter In Court Over US$35k Extortion

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A ZBC Radio Zimbabwe presenter Rutendo Makuti (33) was Friday hauled before the courts on allegations of extorting US$35 000 from her lover and pastor Tapiwa Freddy, best known as T Freddy.

Makuti is alleged to have demanded the cash threatening to expose their illicit affair.

The saga is alleged to have ended up roping in chief Chikwaka of Goromonzi and some Zimbabwe Republic Police officers who coerced Freddy to pay US$15 000 threatening to expose the videos they had captured when he was summoned to the chief’s court.

Makuti’s brother also gave the cleric a 24-hour ultimatum to pay US$20 000 alleging that his secretary had assaulted her sister.

The presenter was arrested after a trap was set by the police.

She appeared before magistrate Sheunesu Matova who granted her $5 000 bail.

She will be back in court on December 9 for routine remand.

According to court papers, sometime in 2020, Freddy was involved in a love affair with Makuti.

During their relationship, Makuti started threatening Freddy that if he did not meet her financial and material demands she would expose the affair to the public.

It is alleged that sometime in August 2021 Freddy was summoned by Chief Chikwaka and upon his arrival at the chief’s homestead he was tipped that there were some police officers who wanted to extort him.

The court heard he then returned without entering the chief’s homestead.

He drove his car towards Mutoko road intending to return to Harare but he was stopped by police officers who were manning a roadblock along Mutoko road just after the intersection to the chief’s homestead.

The officers told the complainant that they had been given instructions by their superior, Inspector Jaji, and Chief Chikwaka not to allow him to passage through.

After a few minutes, two male adults who introduced themselves as Chief Chikwaka and Inspector Jaji arrived at the roadblock and told him to drive back to the chief’s homestead.

Freddy allegedly refused to comply with the order but the said IJaji forcefully entered into his vehicle and ordered him to drive to the chief’s homestead.

It is alleged that upon arrival at the chief’s homestead, he established that there were some officers outside the yard dressed in their uniforms.

There were also six male adults who he presumed to be the chief’s assistants.

It is alleged the chief started accusing him of raping the radio presenter and that he had broken the tradition by sleeping with her before a year elapsed since the death of her husband.

The chief allegedly told Freddy to pay a sacrifice, but he refused to state that rape allegations were criminal as such should be dealt with by the police.

He sensed that whatever was happening was illegal but due to the illegitimate pressure he made a promise to pay US$15 000.

It is alleged the chief also ordered him to pay three goats and the complainant promised to return on a later date with the money and the goats.

The chief allegedly made him to sign an agreement.

Jaji also gave him a warning that if he did not comply with what they had agreed then he would come to Harare and pick him up at his church during services.

The chief also said he had recorded him and threatened to leak the videos if he refused to comply.

Upon their return to Harare Makuti told Freddy to hand over the US$15000 to her personally since she is the one who was aggrieved.

She allegedly started threatening him with the damaging expositions him at his church and that she would use a social media personality by the name Tatenda Karigambe also known as Tatelicious to defame him.

Freddy fell prey and gave Makuti a Mercedes Benz E-250 Reg No. 8983 which they agreed was valued at US$15 000.

Makuti allegedly warned Freddy not to tell anyone and made him sign an agreement that she had been given the car as a way of letting go of the differences.

It is alleged after some days Makuti started threatening the pastor again saying his secretary Nollen Mundawaro had insulted her so he wanted compensation of US$20 000.

Makuti also ordered him to make sure the secretary does not represent his church on all their radio and television programs.

On November 11, Makuti’s brother contacted Freddy and told him that he was giving him an ultimatum of up to the end of the day to pay the US$20 000 and to sign an acknowledgment that he had raped the accused, failure which would result in him exposing the matter.

He then realised that the extortion would continue, and he reported to matter to the police.

Accused was arrested when he was lured to a meeting with the complainant purportedly to discuss on the signing of the acknowledgment to the rape charges and payment of the US$20 000.