Extortionists who swindled top bureaucrat granted bail

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By Paul Katanda

THREE of the suspects who got arrested on allegations of extorting US$200 from Ministry of Information and Communications Technology director, Beulah Chirume, have been granted ZW$30 000 bail each by the High Court.

The suspects are Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) officer, Sinikiwe Phiri (36) and bogus cops Pirate Mazarire (38) and Passmore Tsodzo (46).

Only one of the suspects, Cleophas Matamba, who lied about his name, was denied bail.

The quartet were previously denied bail by Harare Magistrate, Yeukai Dzuda.

High court judge, Justice Esther Muremba, said bail is a right.

The court established that Matamba lied about his name in order to escape previous cases against him.

According to court papers, on April 6, Chirume was driving along 7th Street from Sam Levy, where she was coming from withdrawing money, when she realised that she was being followed by a Toyota Wish.

Out of fear, she drove to a nearby furniture shop, where she was followed by the alleged culprits, who demanded US$300 from her for allegedly crossing a red traffic light at State House.

She tried to negotiate with them, but they did not listen and allegedly stole US$17 and ZW$200 after she had given them US$175.

The accused then allegedly ordered her to drive her car due west along Samora Machel.