Chief Chikwaka up for ‘extorting’ T Freddy

A TRADITIONAL Chief, Witness Bungu, better known as Chief Chikwaka, has been arrested on allegations of extorting preacher Tapiwa Freddy and threatening to accuse him of raping his nephew, radio presenter Rutendo Makuti.

Freddy is currently facing rape allegations which he believes emanate from him refusing to bow to pressure to give money to Makuti, Bungu and a police officer Gibson Jaji.

Chikwaka has since testified against Freddy in the rape trial.

Chief Chikwaka, represented by Garikai Mhishi, was not asked to plead to allegations of extortion when he appeared before Harare magistrate Sharon Rakafa who remanded him out of custody to March 30.

Allegations are that sometime in 2020 Freddy was involved in an affair with Makuti who allegedly began threatening him that if he did not meet her financial and material demands she would expose the affair to the public.

The court heard that in August this year, Freddy was summoned by Chief Chikwaka and on his arrival, he was tipped that there were some police officers who wanted to extort him and he aborted the journey.

It is said that on his way back to Harare, he was stopped by some police officers along Mutoko Road just after the chief’s homestead who reportedly told him that they had an instruction from one inspector Jaji and chief Chikwaka not to allow him to leave.

After a moment, allegations are that two men who introduced themselves as Chief Chikwaka and inspector Jaji appeared and told him to drive to the chief’s home which he refused, but Jaji allegedly forced himself into his vehicle.

The chief allegedly accused Freddy of raping Makuti and violating cultural practices by sleeping with her before the completion of a year following the death of her husband and the chief told him to pay, but Freddy declined speaking about the rape issue saying it was a criminal matter which should be dealt with the police.

It is said the preacher felt everything was illegal, but succumbed to pressure and made a promise to pay US$15 000 and the chief said he should also add three goats and he was made to sign an agreement which was authored by Jaji.

It is alleged that Jaji threatened him with arrest and that he would pick him up in front of his congregants if he did not bring the money. The chief is also alleged to have threatened to leak the video recording of the meeting.

The court heard that on return to the capital, Makuti told the preacher to give the US$15 000 to her as she was the one who was aggrieved, it is alleged.

The court heard that Freddy succumbed to the pressure and gave Makuti a Mercedes Benz E-250 which was valued at US$15 000 and she allegedly warned him not to tell anyone and made him sign an agreement that she had gave away the car as a way of making peace.

The State also said Makuti went on to threaten Freddy saying his secretary had insulted her and wanted US$20 000 as compensation and that the secretary should not represent the church on radio programmes.

It is also alleged that Makuti’s brother phoned the preacher and gave him an ultimatum to pay US$20 000 and to sign an acknowledgement that he had raped Makuti, failure of which would result in him exposing the matter.

Freddy realised that he was being extorted and reported to the police.Makuti was arrested after she was lured to a meeting where she was made to believe that she would get the money and the preacher would sign the agreement. 

Lynette Gwarisa appeared for the State.