Zanu PF youth leader denied bail

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BULAWAYO Zanu PF youth leader Blessed Mushandu, accused of swindling a Chinese businessman with interests in mining of over US$100 000 using Vice President Kembo Mohadi’s name, has been denied bail.

Mushandu allegedly claimed to be a secretary in the VP’s office in Bulawayo and that the VP would facilitate him to conduct mining in the country before collecting various amounts of money from him.

He appeared before Harare magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guuriro charged with fraud with the State opposing his admission to bail.

The court heard that sometime in 2018, the complainant was introduced to Mushandu by his former business partner. Mushandu reportedly introduced himself as the Bulawayo youth leader and secretary to Mohadi stationed in Bulawayo.

It is alleged that they met at a hotel in Harare and Mushandu and his accomplice misrepresented to the complainant that all rivers in the country are administered and managed in the office of the vice president who approved any investor to mine alluvial gold, hence they should meet him to access the rivers.

It is alleged Mushandu and his colleague demanded US$20 000 for the vice president for engagement and as a facilitation fee, money which was paid.

The court heard that during the period, the complainant was then invited to the office of the vice president at his Harare office where he was introduced as an investor from China.

After the meeting, it is alleged that Mushandu demanded US$5 000 indicating that Mohandi had sent them to collect his wife at the airport and to take her to his farm.

Allegations are that between January and March 2019, Mushandu and Mabhena concocted different invoices in the name of Umguza Rural District Council, ministry of Mines, Zinwa and Environmental Management Agency demanding US$5 000, US$47 000, US$20 000 and US$10 900 for different levies yet there was nothing from the offices.

It is further alleged that sometime in March 2019, Mushandu demanded another $100 000 meant for mining levies and it was transferred into his bank account.

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