Zvikomborero Parafini 

THE extortion trial of ZBC senior reporter, Tendai Munengwa, and accomplice Henry Kachere, opened yesterday.

Munengwa and Kachere are accused of extorting businessman and Mabvuku-Tafara legislator, Scott Sakupwanya, by threatening to expose sensitive classified information about illegal gold dealings at his company.

It is alleged that Munengwa demanded a payment of US$25 000 but Sakupwanya could only offer US$15 000, which Munengwa allegedly accepted.

The two showed Sakupwanya’s security officer a file containing ‘incriminating information.’ 

The police then obtained a trap authority leading to the duo’s arrest.

Munengwa and Kachere both pleaded not guilty.

Munengwa told the court that he never contacted Sakupwanya in a bid to extort him and never carried any documents which allegedly contained damaging information against him.

He further claimed in his defence that he used to be Sakupwanya’s business partner and would do consultancy work for him before they had a fallout.

He said it was because of that fallout that Sakupwanya was fabricating this case against him as no money was recovered from him as alleged by the State.

Kachere denied contacting Sakupwanya, threatening or exerting pressure on him, and neither did he carry any file or documents with him.

He argued that no documents or files were recovered from him and neither did he receive money from Sakupwanya or his employee.

He told the court that on the day in question, he accompanied Munengwa to Sakupwanya’s office on personal business.

Sakupwanya defaulted court, and a warrant for his arrest was issued.

His security officer, Tozivepi Milward, however, testified as the first witness.

The court heard that the duo connived to extort money from Sakupwanya by threatening to expose illegal gold dealings allegedly happening at his company.

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