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JUST IN: President’s aide caught up in smuggling racket

By Mutsa Makuvaza

A MEMBER of the President’s Office based in the border town of Chirundu is wanted by detectives who yesterday swooped in on a daring syndicate that smuggled goods from Zambia and stored them in a disused common room of ZRP Chirundu Mess., Zimbabwe Voice can reveal.

According to an internal police memo, detectives from CID Chirundu together with officers from the Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA), President’s Office (the CIO) and ZIMRA officials discovered 35 sacks loaded with goods ranging from clothes to hardware.

The incident took place yesterday (Friday) at about 0830 hours when CID Chirundu received  information through a phone call from ZIMRA Chirundu Bonds Manager, one Mrs Kudzunga, that there were suspected smuggled goods in a disused common room of ZRP Chirundu Mess.

“Detectives identified witnesses at the scene leading to the arrest of Charles Mainoti (38), a resident of Southlea Park in Harare who works for Kabor Bus Services.

Part of internal memo originated by CID Chirundu that Zimbabwe Voice is in possession of.

“The accused was interviewed and he indicated that he engaged one Denga, a member of the President’s Office based at Chirundu who together with Cliff NFPK transported the goods from Zambia to Zimbabwe via the entry gate of the border.

“The accused further indicated  US$ 350-00 to Zimra Officials, US$430 -00 to members of ZNA and CIO who all facilitated entrance of the smuggled goods into the country. Detective Constable Karimakwenda of CID MFFU Chirundu also witnessed the payments,” reads the memo in part.

It further says that nn unregistered Kombi, white in colour and belonging to one Cliff was used to smuggle the goods from Zambian Border into the country during the night of 17 September 2020 and the goods were taken to the disused Police Mess for safekeeping waiting for them to be transported to various destinations.

“The goods were smuggled via the Border’s entry gate and the accused made payments to Officials manning the gate to be allowed to pass.

“A Toyota Dyna unregistered, engine number nil, chassis number XZU338-100139 being driven by  Shingirai Derrick Nyadore, aged 38 Years, NR 26-133580 P 50 was found parked about 50 metres away from the scene.

“The driver was located and indicated that he had been hired by the accused to transport some goods but was not aware of the nature of goods. The vehicle was taken to ZIMRA Chirundu for seizure.

“The recovered goods were to ZIMRA for counting and seizure,” reads the memo, which the Zimbabwe Voice is in possession of.

Detectives in Chirundu say they are seeking the whereabouts of Denga, the CIO officer, and Cliff who is being implicated and are keen to interview the duo.

CID also wants to recover the Kombi that was used to smuggle the goods as well as identify ZIMRA authorities namely Magaya and Mutasa who were manning the Border’s entry gate so they can jointly charge them.

Meanwhile, Mainoti is expected to appear in court soon.

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