4 CIO operatives in court for extortion


Richard Masocha

Harare—Four operatives from the President’s Department facing charges of extorting US$1,000 from a local businessman, Brian Dziwandi of Dopsa Energy, have been released on US$100 bail.

The Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) servicemen Trust Madzunzu (38), Munyaradzi Gondo (38), Joshua Zingwe (40) and Innocent Chigona (38) were remanded out of custody to 10 June by Harare regional magistrate, Donald Ndirowei.

Allegations are that on 21 May this year, Dziwandi received a phone call from Madzunzu who identified himself as Trust and claimed that he was an agent for Kamativi Mine, which is situated in Hwange in Matabeleland North province.


Madzunzu allegedly misrepresented to the complainant that he supplied diesel to Kamativi Mine in Hwange, hence he wished to partner with Dziwandi in the business.

lt is alleged that on 22 May this year, the complainant, in the company of Simbarashe Dziwandi, met Madzunzu and Gondo at Holiday Inn in Harare.

Madzunzu asked the complainant to get into his vehicle, while his accomplices were waiting inside.

The accused persons told Dziwandi that they were from the President’s Department and were on an operation against fuel smuggling.

They further told Dziwandi that they received information that he had offloaded fuel which was on transit to Lusaka, Zambia.

They allegedly demanded US$10, 000 on behalf of their “boss” who they did not name or they were going to take him to Chaminuka Building, the CIO headquarters in Harare and lock him up.

lt is alleged that out of fear, the complainant told Madzunzu to give him time to run around looking for the money and the accused persons gave him a ultimatum of up to 4 pm on the same day.

The accused persons kept on pressurising the complainant using different cell phones and landlines requesting for the money.

Dziwandi reported the case to the police and, on May 23, 2024, a trap was set up, leading to the arrest of the four accused persons who came to receive US$1 000 from the complainant.

Over the years, several CIO and other agents in the security sector have been arrested—with some going on to be convicted—for criminal activities including extortion, robbery, fraud and theft, among other crimes.

Patrick Badza, a former senior CIO officer was in late June last year sentenced to an effective three years in jail for attempting to extort US$9,900 from the managing director of Live Touch (Pvt) Ltd, a Chinese company that was awaiting work permits for 33 employees from China.

He was arrested during a trap as he waited to receive the money for purportedly offering to assist the clearance of the Chinese nationals.


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