TWO men believed to be part of a gang that allegedly passed themselves off as members of the Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) before kidnapping and assaulting Johanne Masowe Yechishanu Yenyenyedzi Nomwe leader Herbert Thabo Senda, popularly known as Madzibaba Enock, on accusations of trying to topple the President, yesterday appeared in court.
Clifford Chimusoro (57) and Muchineripi Utete (43) were not asked to plead to the charges when they appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Evelyn Mashavirakure charged with kidnapping.
The two were remanded to Friday on $50 000 bail each.
Their accomplices, Mark Jack (36), Munyaradzi Mupazviripo (49) and Reward Baradze (26) have since appeared in court on similar charges and are expected back in court on Friday when the State is expected to jointly charge them.
Led by Mr Zebadiah Bofu, the State alleges that on October 13 last year, at around 4pm, the gang teamed up with 14 other people and went to Madzibaba Enock’s church in Budiriro 4, Harare.
It is alleged that they then identified themselves to Madzibaba Enock as members of the CIO and started accusing him of plotting to topple President Mnangagwa from power, amongst other allegations.
The court heard that they told Madzibaba Enock that they wanted him to clear his name at their offices at St Barbara House in the city centre.
Madzibaba Enock told the gang that he would report at their offices the following day.
In a bid to coerce him to bow to their demands, Jack allegedly produced a firearm and ordered him into his Nissan X-trail (AEQ 2066) and drive towards the city centre under their escort.
The court heard that they then stopped Madzibaba Enock at High Glen roundabout and forced him into one of their vehicles – a Toyota Raider twin cab.
Allegations are that they blindfolded the self-styled prophet and drove him to an unknown destination.
The court heard that the gang later took Madzibaba Enock to St Barbara House at the corner of Nelson Mandela Avenue and Leopold Takawira Street in Harare where they allegedly tortured and assaulted him resulting in him losing a tooth.
It is alleged that they stole his US$330.
On the same day at around 10pm, the five are said to have handed over Madzibaba Enock to police at Harare Central Police Station on allegations of disorderly conduct and impersonation.
The State alleges that the five deprived Madzibaba Enock of his freedom of movement.
On December 5 last year, Mupazviripo and Baradze visited the office of the Permanent Secretary for the Harare Provincial Affairs and Devolution, Mr Tafadzwa Muguti.
On arrival, Jack was attended to by Herbert Chipfunde, who requested him to identify himself.
The court heard that Jack said he was from Zanu PF national headquarters specifically operating under the President’s Department.
Jack failed to produce an identity card as proof of employment to that effect, according to the State. He, however, produced an identity card inscribed “Eyes of The President”.
It is the State’s case that Jack then phoned Mupazviripo who then spoke to Chipfunde so that he could confirm that indeed Jack was a member of the CIO.
During the conversation with Chipfunde, Mupazviripo impersonated that Jack and himself were both indeed from the President’s Department and were members of the CIO.
It was later proved that both men were not in the employ of the President’s department.