HARARE – A senior Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative and businessperson claiming to be President Robert Mugabe’s relative has been arrested for attempting to extort over $300 000 from a brick-making company director.
Justin Wellington Mataure, 54, who gave his business address as President’s office, Hardwick House Operations Branch One was last Friday brought before Harare magistrate Anita Tshuma on extortion charges.
He is jointly charged with Venshire Enterprises company director Walter Magorimbo, who according to state papers, claims to be Mugabe’s relative. Venshire is a transport and brick company.
The court heard that the complainant in the matter is Tian Jiangtao who is one of the directors of Tiger Bricks Private Limited of Rainham Farm, Harare.
It is alleged that Jiangtao entered into an oral brick-marketing agreement with Magorimbo in 2010.
The court heard the agreement only lasted three months after some of the bricks were reported missing during the transactions.
Prosecutor Tungamirai Chakurira told the court that Magorimbo later approached Jiangtao in March this year, claiming money for unspecified services that he did not provide.
The court heard that in July he filed summons in the High Court claiming $158 250, which he said was for unpaid commission arising from the oral agreement they initially had.
Jiangtao responded to the claim and it is still pending at the High Court.
According to state papers, Mataure approached Jiangtao on September 26 demanding unspecified amount of money for unspecified services.
The court heard, basing on the strength that Mataure is a CIO operative and Magorimbo is Mugabe’s relative, the two allegedly threatened to injure Jiangtao if he failed to comply with their demands.
They visited and phoned Jiangtao on different occasions, before writing a document on October 4 demanding $371 000.
Jiangtao made a complaint to the police, leading to the arrest of the two after a trap was set up.
Upon their arrest, the two were allegedly found with $3 000 trap money.
They are out of custody on $500 bail each. They will be back in court on October 29 for trial. – Tendai Kamhungira