ZACC arrests MashEast Mines Inspector for extortion

Miners arrested for impersonating Police and Army officials

The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) yesterday arrested and charged an official from the Ministry of Mines and Mining Development in Mashonaland East with extortion.

Antony Singende, the Provincial Mines Inspector for Mashonaland East Province, allegedly demanded a substantial sum of money from Mine Manager Virimai Nyamvura in exchange for maintaining a valid blasting license.

Virimai Nyamvura, a mine manager at Koodoo 83 Mine, owned by a Mr Emmanuel Ndemera, was suspended from work on October 7, 2023. The work-related suspension lasted for 21 days before being revoked on October 20, 2023. Shortly after his return to work, Singende, the accused Mines Inspector, paid a visit to Koodoo 83 Mine and made alarming demands.

Singende demanded a sum of US$150.00 for re-endorsement of Nyamvura’s blasting license which had lapsed during the latter’s suspension. Furthermore, he insisted on an additional US$200.00 to prevent the withdrawal of Nyamvura’s blasting license. Singende subsequently ordered Nyamvura to bring the money and the blasting license to his office on November 17, 2023.

Reporting the Crime

Nyamvura reported the matter to his employer, who recommended contacting the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. Acting on this advice, Nyamvura promptly filed a report with the commission on November 16, 2023. An investigation ensued.

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Arrest and Evidence

On November 17, 2023, Nyamvura adhered to Singende’s instructions and handed over US$350.00 trap money. Singende was arrested after receiving the money, which was subsequently recovered as an exhibit. Moreover, a search of Singende’s person revealed an additional US$1,600 that he failed to account for, casting further suspicion on his criminal activities.

Legal Consequences

Singende was charged with extortion, as defined under section 134 of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act Chapter 9.23. This charge carries significant penalties and could potentially result in a substantial prison sentence if proven guilty. Singende appeared at the Harare Magistrates Court for his initial hearing on the matter. Singende was remanded in custody and his case was postponed to the 20th of November 2023.

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