Kidnapping accused Congolese cleric, Chinese duo granted bail

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By Staff Reporter

A self-styled cleric, Charles Motondo, arrested alongside a Chinese duo and eight others on allegations of kidnapping and demanding a US$120 000 ransom from their victim have been granted US$200 bail each by a Harare magistrate.

The 11 spent the weekend behind bars after they were nabbed harbouring their victim, a Chinese national at Motondo’s house in Mandara.

Motondo once made headlines after he claimed he was the only true cleric in Zimbabwe.

His accomplices are Guo Zairen (34), and Wango Gao (40) both Chinese nationals, Primrose Miga (34), Tonderai Naison Kaja (34), Charles Notice (34), Christopher Chirombe (34), O’brien Miti (31), Simbarashe Kumba (24), Carlington Conselia (28) and Oswell Tinotenda Tsikai (29).

The complainant in this matter is Cheng Song, a Chinese national.

According to prosecutors, the 11 connived to kidnap Song and demand a US$120 000 ransom for his release.

Acting in common purpose, some of the accused kidnapped Song from a local Chinese restaurant on the pretext that they were police officers and the complainant was under arrest for an offence they did not disclose.

Song was in the company of his friend Tu Muqing, who later alerted Song’s relative, Wang Yanan.

Yanan contacted a police officer informing him of the incident.

The suspects also forced Song to tell Yanan that US$120 000 was needed for him to be released and avoid being deported.

He also sent a location for her to bring the money.

Phiri then met with Wang Yanan and on checking the sent Google Maps location he discovered that it was showing a place in a bushy area adjacent to Chikurubi Maximum Prison and that there wasn’t any police station close by.

“Phiri alerted CID Homicide Harare about the kidnapping and extortion and they swiftly reacted and waylaid the accused person at the given Google Maps location,” the court heard.

It is alleged that one Tendai Notice, who is still at large, Chirombe, Konselia and Tsikai came driving a Toyota Fortuner and ordered Wang Yanan to follow their vehicle and they drove off at high speed.

Police detectives made a follow-up on the accused’ vehicle and drove abreast of their vehicle along Arcturus Road, Greendale and identified themselves as police detectives at the same time ordering them to pull over.

It is alleged the squad instead sped off forcing detectives to fire warning shots.

Detectives then fired at the vehicle which led to the driver losing control and the vehicle plunged into a ditch.

The four were subsequently arrested and led police detectives to Matondo’s house in Mandara, where they found the complainant under guard by Miga, Matondo, Kaja, Miti and Kumba before they rescued him.

Anesu Chirenje prosecuted.