ED ‘runner’ extorts US$12k from woman mine owner

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Bulawayo Correspondent

A Zanu PF activist who allegedly used President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s name to extort US$12 000 from a Shangani woman on the pretext he was protecting her mine from seizure was Saturday dragged before a Bulawayo magistrate facing fraud.

The court was told that on 24 March this year, Blessed Mushando (27) allegedly drove a branded Zanu PF Ford Ranger to Shangani where he met the complainant, Priscilla Ncube.

Mushando allegedly asked for US$12 000 claiming he was going to relay the cash to President Mnangagwa for her mine to be safe from government take over.

This is after he had allegedly misrepresented to Ncube that her mine had been targeted for acquisition by the President’s office because it had rich gold deposits.

According to court papers, Mushando first extorted US$2 000 from Ncube.

The money was allegedly handed to him by one Dumisani Ndlovu on behalf of Ncube.

On 26 March this year, Mushando reportedly contacted Ncube while in Harare demanding the balance.

Ncube paid him the balance of US$10 000 with the hope that the mine would finally be secured.

Ncube later filed a fraud report to the police last week after realising she had been conned.

The magistrate remanded Mushando in custody to Monday for bail application.

Mushando was once arrested on similar charges in 2017 after he and another Zanu PF youth, allegedly extorted money from Tribal Logistics Company operations manager using a fake letter bearing a Zanu PF logo.