MAZOWE North legislator, Tsungi Makumbe, and his business partner recently reported two ‘extortionists’ to the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) leading to their arrest and subsequent court appearance.

The suspects, Robson Farayi Chinanayi (32), a former government surveyor and Junior Mudyawabikwa(40), the deputy provincial mining director for Mashonaland West, were last Friday denied bail and remanded in custody to March 8 when they appeared before Chinhoyi Magistrate Rumbidzai Tshuma.

In her bail ruling, the presiding magistrate said there was a prima facie case against the pair and upheld arguments by ZACC investigators that they were a flight risk considering the gravity of the offence that carries a custodial sentence.

The complainant in the matter is Shingirai Kangara, the director of Perfect Gold Mining Syndicate, a Chitomborwizi-based mine in which the Zanu PF Member of Parliament (MP) and youth national political commissar has a stake.

According to the State outline, sometime in 2021, the complainant submitted an application for a mining certificate which was handled by Chinanayi, who carried out ground survey inspections and picked coordinates for the mine.

The court heard that in April 2023, Chinanayi left his position as a government employee and joined Anjin Diamond Mine, Mutare as a surveyor.

It was further averred that despite leaving his job at the ministry he continued working with the complainant over the same application.

It is alleged he was used as a front by Mudyawabikwa to extort money from the complainant purportedly as facilitation fees for processing of the mining certificate.

Further alleged was that from 2022 to 2023, Chinanayi acted in connivance with Mudyawabikwa, and on three occasions, extorted complainant cash amounting to US$1 500 on the pretext it was to induce officials to quickly process the document, but nothing materialised despite the payments.

Court heard sometime towards the end of 2023, the complainant made further inquiries with Chinanayi on the status of his application and was advised to bring an additional US$5 000, which was to be given to Mudyawabikwa to process the application.

The complainant advised his business partner, Hon Makumbe, about the demands from the accused and his accomplice and it was agreed the matter must be reported to the Ministry of Mines and ZACC, which instituted a probe.

On February 19 this year, the accused duo acting in common purpose, arranged to meet the complainant in Chinhoyi to receive the money.

Chinanayi drove from Bindura and was arrested in Chinhoyi after receiving US$1 500 trap money which was recovered from his pockets.

It is alleged that Mudyawabikwa, not knowing that her accomplice had been arrested, started making incessant calls demanding her share of the money. The conversations were recorded before the crack team stormed her residence where they nabbed her for corruption.

Lawyers Tinashe Dzvore and Kudzai Choga are representing accused persons one and two, respectively. — NewZimbabwe

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