HARARE – A senior ZBC reporter and a Central Intelligence Organisation agent appeared in court last Saturday charged with extortion after they allegedly demanded US$25,000 from gold dealer Scott Pedzisayi Sakupowanya in order to destroy incriminating evidence against him.
Journalist Tendai Munengwa, 44, of Hillside in Harare and spy Henry Kachere, 40, of Seke were remanded in custody to February 13 for their bail application.
The Harare Magistrates Court heard that the duo, who have not entered a plea, hatched a plan to extort Sakupwanya, the CEO of Better Brands Jewellery.
On February 8, Munengwa allegedly told Sakupwanya that the CIO had “sensitive classified information in respect of illegal gold dealings” by his company, but the evidence could be destroyed by Kachere, who is attached to the CIO’s Counter Intelligence Unit, upon the payment of US$25,000.
“As a result of the exerted pressure, Sakupwanya indicated that he could afford US$15,000,” the National Prosecuting Authority charges.
After accepting Sakupwanya’s offer, Munengwa allegedly advised the gold dealer that they would meet at 6PM on February 9, 2023, so that he could introduce him to the CIO officer dealing with the matter.
Sakupwanya, the court heard, called in the police who obtained a trap authority.
At the appointed time, Sakupwanya gave the trap money to one of his security officers Tozivepi Milward to give it to Munengwa and his accomplice outside his office at 2 Elliot Drive, Greendale, Harare.
Munengwa, the court heard, showed Milward a file which he claimed contained the incriminating documents. Milward handed over the trap money to Munengwa before detectives closed in and took the two men into custody.
Police recovered US$15,000 in real and counterfeit notes which had been used in the trap, according to the National Prosecuting Authority. – ZimLive