By James Muonwa, Mashonaland West Correspondent
TWO employees of an anti-corruption organisation have appeared in court following their arrest for extortion.
Mind Musokeri (33) and Wilfred Nyahunda (44), who are employed by the Southern Africa Regional Anti-Corruption (SARACO) appeared before Chinhoyi magistrate Rumbidzai Tshuma charged with two counts of extortion and were remanded in custody for the next fortnight.
Prosecutor Knight Tawanda Rwodzi pleaded with the court to deny the pair bail due to the seriousness of the offence.
The first complainant is Kudakwashe Faranando (34) of Murereka, Chinhoyi who is employed as a fuel attendant at Ram Petroleum, Lion’s Den.
He is also a farmer and beneficiary of the Command Agriculture Scheme for the 2020/2021 season.
In count one, the state case is that sometime in September last year, around 8 am, Musokeri met Faranando while in the company of his friend Tendawakura Kanyenze at D&R Service Station.
During the course of their discussions, Musokeri revealed he was a member of SARACO tasked to make follow-ups of all beneficiaries who had not paid back money for Command Agriculture inputs.
On the same morning, Musokeri met with Nyamunda at D&R Service Station in Chinhoyi.
They were joined by Faranando and his friend Kanyenze.
It is at this point that accused persons advised Faranando and Kanyenze that their names were on the list of defaulters to be arrested for failing to repay the inputs loans.
Accused persons demanded a US$1 000 bribe in order to strike off the names from the defaulters’ list.
Musokeri was handed US$15, before telling Faranando to raise the required kickback which they would collect the following day.
On the second count, the complainant is Ludi Zuze, who is also a beneficiary of the inputs loan scheme.
The court heard that on October 3 this year, at around 1 pm at Lion’s Den shops, Zuze, Tennis White, and Raymond Mapambawenyu were advised they were among the list of people who had not paid back for inputs they had received.
On that same day at around 8 pm, Musokeri and Nyahunda arrived at Lion’s Den to meet Zuze and his colleagues.
The two then introduced themselves to Zuze as members of SARACO, who were on an operation to apprehend defaulting clients of the scheme.
Out of fear, Zuze handed over US$100 to Nyahunda.
The pair was arrested after complainants reported the cases to the police.