Africom bosses granted bail in espionage case

Two businessmen and an engineer were on Tuesday granted bail after being arrested on allegations of espionage. They had been accused of illegally setting up satellite communication equipment to leak official secrets to foreign countries.

Prominent banker Farai Rwodzi, a non-executive director at telecoms company Africom Holdings, was arrested alongside acting chief executive Simba Mangwende and Oliver Chiku from Global Satellite Systems.

Allegations are that the trio “connived to install communication equipment” and connect it to the “Africom main network system without the authority or knowledge of Africom management and the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.”

On Tuesday Harare magistrate Munamato Mutevedzi granted them bail with strict reporting conditions. Mangwende and Rwodzi were ordered to pay US$2,000 each while Chiku was granted a US$700 bail. They were also ordered to surrender their passports, reside at their given addresses, not to interfere with witnesses and report twice a week to the police Central Investigations Department.

Sources who spoke to SW Radio Africa told us Rwodzi was considered a right hand man for the late Solomon Mujuru who led a powerful faction within ZANU PF. Recently leaked US diplomatic cables have suggested that relations between Mujuru and Mugabe were so strained at one time that the two did not speak to each other, after Mujuru challenged the ZANU PF leader to step down.

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