Harare businessman Agripa “Bopela” Masiyakurima caused a scene at the magistrates’ court yesterday when he demanded that Information and Communications Technology minister Supa Mandiwanzira should appear in court for allegedly damaging his crane.
Masiyakurima wants Mandiwanzira to be charged for sending his employees Charles Mtetwa (34) and Tapiwa Garapo (46) to damage his machinery. Masiyakurima told the court he bought the crane from Mandiwanzira for $411 000 as payback for being awarded the tender to erect 200 NetOne base stations throughout the country. Said Masiyakurima:
Your Worship, I won’t testify further if Supa Mandiwanzira is not brought in the dock. He is the one who sent these guys to destroy my crane. I sold my house to raise funds after I got a contract to build 100 base stations worth $3,7 million. Mandiwanzira wanted 40% of the amount for a bribe, which I refused. He then tried to force me to buy his two 20-cubic-metre tippers at a higher price. He told me that he must benefit somehow in my $3,7 million. NetOne contract and I succumbed since I did not want tension with the minister. I bought his crane which I defaulted paying by 30 days and he then sent his people to damage my crane after I finished paying him.
When he was ordered to direct his complaint to the prosecutor, Masiyakurima kept demanding that Mandiwanzira be charged together with Mtetwa and Garapo. The matter was postponed to Friday.