Chihuri, Sekeramayi, Bonyongwe named in diamond scam

Defence Minister Sydney Sekeramayi, Police Commissioner Augustine Chihuri and Central Intelligence Organisation boss Happyton Bonyongwe have been named in a $3 million extortion scam.

Chihuri
Chihuri

But there is nothing to suggest that the three ever received any of the money. All the information about the scam was revealed in an affidavit by one Albie Marima, initially dismissed by the courts as fake but now found to be genuine by police forensic experts.

The affidavit names the three supremos as beneficiaries of money allegedly extorted from Mutare businessman Mudassar Khan, from unsuspecting diamond dealers for “protection”.

In March two prominent lawyers, Chris Ndlovu and Rangarirai Mubata, were detained at Mutare Central Police Station for allegedly forging the affidavit, which alleged that Mutare businessman Tino Machakaire had extorted money from Khan, purportedly to give it to Sekeramayi, Chihuri and Bonyongwe for “protection.” The lawyers are now suing Marima.

The affidavit, a copy of which is in our possession, has been signed by Clara Gombakomba from the police forensic unit, confirming that samples of Marima’s signature that were forwarded to her were indeed his. Marima said a CIO officer had threatened that Khan’s diamond cutting and polishing license was going to revoked by the authorities.

“In order to save his (Khan) license he was going to be asked to pay some money to senior government officials through the CIO officer,” says the affidavit. The officer worked with one Charles Chave to fleece Khan of $3,000 as payment to solve the problem, it says.

The affidavit further states that Khan paid $15,000 to Machakaire and was made to pay $4,000 to Zanu (PF) as a donation. He indicated that the money would be paid to Chris Mushowe (Manicaland Provincial Affairs Minister), retired Lieutenant General Michael Nyambuya (Nyanga Senator) and John Mvundura (Zanu PF provincial chairman.) But the money never reached the party.

Khan appeared before Mutare magistrate Sekesai Chiundura in March facing 12 counts of unlawfully dealing in diamonds worth approximately $3 million.

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