By James Muonwa l Mashonaland West Correspondent
A PRESENTER at Chinhoyi-based Platinum FM radio station, who was arrested for masquerading as a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative, has been further remanded in custody after two court appearances within a week.
Thandeka Hilda Chitombo, also known as Ms Ndeka-T on air, initially appeared in court last Saturday and the matter was remanded to Monday for bail hearing.
Upon her return to court this Monday, defence lawyer Tinashe Dzvore applied for a postponement, to which the State obliged.
The State is likely to prefer more charges against Chitombo when she re-appears in the dock this Wednesday before Magistrate Mutasa.
The 30-year-old rookie radio personality is facing impersonation charges as defined in section 179 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act chapter 9:23.
The State 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, who is 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 a weekend show, The Sunday Chill Out from 3pm – 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 in possession of the ‘fake’ CIO identity card, which will be produced in court as evidence.
When police proceeded to Chitombo’s residence in Ruvimbo Phase 1, Chinhoyi, they recovered two fake Zanu PF party cards purporting she was a Central Committee member for Mashonaland West and Central provinces.