The Sunday News
Peter Matika, Senior Reporter
A Zanu-PF youth member in Bulawayo, who allegedly used President Mnangagwa’s name to extort a woman of US$12 000 was yesterday arrested during a dawn raid at his place of residence in the Central Business District.
Blessed Mushando (27) was arrested, in a joint operation by members of the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) from Harare and Bulawayo.
Mushando, who was once arrested on similar charges in 2017, is accused of duping a woman of USD$12 000, after he allegedly told her that he was linked to President Mnangagwa and could liaise with his office to secure her mining interests. Mushando briefly appeared before Bulawayo magistrate Miss Nomasiko Ndlovu facing charges of fraud and was remanded in custody to tomorrow for bail hearing.
According to court records Mushando, on 24 March this year reportedly drove a Zanu-PF branded vehicle to Shangani, where he met the complainant, Ms Priscilla Ncube at Tobo mining syndicate. It was stated that he misrepresented himself, telling Ms Ncube that she should pay
US$12 000 to President Mnangagwa for her to secure the mine.
It was then noted that on the same day Mushando extorted Ms Ncube of USD$2 000, after telling her that he had the capacity to assist her in securing the mine. He reportedly told her that the mine had been targeted by the President’s Office in turning around the economy, as it was rich in gold. Mushando was allegedly given the money by one Dumisani Ndlovu on behalf of Ms Ncube.
On 26 March Mushando reportedly contacted Ms Ncube, while he was in Harare telling her that she needed to pay the balance to conclude the deal. Ms Ncube is said to have paid the US$10 000 with the hope that the mine would indeed be secured.
Ms Ncube, sometime last week, after realising that she had been duped, as the mine had been taken by someone else, made a police report, which led to Mushando’s arrest yesterday.
It was reported that in 2017 Mushando and an accomplice Tichaona Chikwava allegedly approached Mr Robert Noel Peter Gugo, who was the operations manager at Tribal Logistics Company with a fake letter bearing a Zanu-PF logo and allegedly written by the party’s provincial treasurer, Cde Simon Khabo, requesting for $1 000 to cover funeral expenses for a former chairperson in the party. The duo allegedly even produced a Medical Certificate of Cause of Death referring to the deceased as Mpofu.
Mr Gugo became suspicious and carried out investigations leading to him discovering that the request was not genuine. He alerted the police at Donnington who rushed to the scene and found the two receiving money.
Mushando was asked to present himself at Donnington Police Station since he was driving his own car but allegedly disappeared along the way. Follow-ups were made leading to his arrest.