By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
RISING Platinum FM radio presenter, Thandeka Hilda Chitombo, appeared in court Saturday following her arrest in Chinhoyi for masquerading as a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative.
The 30-year-old rookie radio personality, also known as Ms Ndeka-T, faces impersonation charges as defined in section 179 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act chapter 9:23.
Chitombo was remanded in custody and returns to Chinhoyi Court Complex on Monday, February 5, for a bail hearing.
The State, represented by prosecutor Faith Chikuvadze, alleges that sometime in October 2023, the accused person went to Platinum FM, a Zimbabwe Newspapers (Zimpapers) Private Limited subsidiary, and got access through some unnamed employees from the programming department.
She met the complainant, the station manager, Davies Mugadza, and pledged to be a volunteer presenter broadcasting during weekends.
Chitombo was auditioned by a team from the programming department and she passed the test, before embarking on a three-month training stint.
According to the State, during the first week of January 2024, Chitombo was assigned to deliver the weekend show, The Sunday Chill Out from 3 pm – 6 pm, as an on-air presenter.
During her training period, around November last year, the accused person presented her credentials to Mugadza and narrated that she was deployed from the President’s Office.
In a bid to authenticate her claim, Chitombo produced an identity card purporting to be a member of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) assigned at the radio station on an intelligence mission.
The complainant contacted the President’s Office in Chinhoyi enquiring about Chitombo and the President’s department promised to do background checks on the accused person.
It is further alleged on February 1 this year, the President’s department disowned Chitombo resulting in accusations of impersonation.
She was subsequently arrested while possessing the ‘fake’ CIO identity card, which will be produced in court as evidence.
Lawyer Tinashe Dzvore is representing the accused person.
Meanwhile, police reportedly proceeded to Chitombo’s residence in Ruvimbo Phase 1, Chinhoyi where they recovered two fake Zanu PF party cards purporting she was a Central Committee member for Mashonaland West and Central provinces.