Africom directors appeal against custody

Two Zimbabwean businessmen remanded in custody on espionage charges have appealed to the High Court against the bail ruling. They are charged with having set up satellite communication equipment and leaked official secrets to foreign countries without the authority or knowledge of Africom management and the Post and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe.

Farai Rwodzi
Farai Rwodzi

Africom acting chief executive Simba Mangwende and non-executive director Farai Rwodzi, together with Oliver Chiku of Global Satellite Systems, have also been charged with contravening the Postal and Telecommunications Act, which makes it an offence to possess, control or work for a radio station. The offence carries a 25-year jail sentence.

The three were remanded in custody last Friday. Observers suspect there is a political angle involved, and question how a non-executive director like Rwodzi could be singled out for vindictive treatment over the case. Rwodzi is known to have been close to the Mujuru faction within Zanu (PF).

According to the state, between July and October 27 this year, they allegedly hatched a plan to send messages to the US, Canada and Afghanistan about confidential data from government ministries.

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