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Senior ZBC journalist busted for extorting $15,000 from Scott Sakupwanya

A COP, who was part of the sting operation that led to the arrest and trial of ZBC senior reporter, Tendai Munengwa, on extortion charges, has given a detailed illustration of how the trap was set and executed.
Munengwa is being jointly charged with intelligence officer, Henry Kachere.

They are accused of attempting to extort US$15 000 from businessman Scott Sakupwanya in return for suppressing “sensitive classified information” about “illegal gold dealings” by one of his companies.

Reginald Munonoki, the policeman who was part of the team which executed the trap, said:

Also Read: Robbers pounce on Tafara 2 High School, steal US$12k donated by Scott Sakupwanya

It was on 8 February last year when our office received information that the two were extorting US$15k from the complainant.

“They claimed to have sensitive classified information of illegal gold dealings by Better Brands.

“The duo threatened to publicise the ‘illegal dealings’ if he refused to pay the US$15 000 and a trap was then set.

“The trap team comprised four officers from CID Law and Order, including myself, and armed with the trap authority, we went to the Better Brands office in Greendale.

“We met Sakupwanya’s security officer, Mayward Tozivepi, who stated that he had been authorised to execute the trap by his employer.

“We made arrangements on how to execute the trap and the trap money was handed to Tozivepi,” he said.

Munonoki, who has 24 years’ experience in the police service, said when the two arrived, Kachere was holding a box file which they claimed had the incriminating offence.

“They sat in the sitting room. I personally saw Kachere handing over the file to Tozivepi and the trap money was handed over to Tendai Munengwa.

“Tozivepi gave us a signal that he had handed over the trap money and that’s when we immediately got into the sitting room.

“I searched Munengwa and recovered the trap money from his left pocket.

“The box file, written ‘CIO Top Secret,’ was with Tozivepi and Detective Sergeant Mutsambi opened it and Detective Inspector Mukohwa told them that they had received trap money and produced the trap authority which he read to them.

“They didn’t acknowledge the trap authority and refused to sign.

“They were subsequently arrested for extortion.”

Munonoki was quizzed by the defence lawyers why he didn’t produce the trap money or the alleged file whose existence the accused have denied in their defence outline.

The trials resumes on Tuesday when Sakupwanya is set to testify. H Metro

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