ZBC TV Reporter Bruce Chahwanda appeared before Harare Magistrate Victoria Mashambe on Tuesday facing charges of extortion. Chahwanda together with Allen Musiya are alleged to have extorted Hwange Colliery Company chief executive officer Stenjwa Thomas Makore of $65 000.
The state alleges that Masiye, who is the company secretary at Hwange Colliery Company supplied damaging information about Makore to Chahwanda, Chahwanda would then threaten Makore with exposure unless he paid them. The pair is alleged to have threatened to expose among other things
- That Makore got a kickback from Billy Rautenbach after buying second-hand equipment from him.
- That Makore was a G40 Faction member
- That Makore was going on numerous foreign trips which were using up the company’s funds.
The two were not asked to plead and were granted $600 bail each. They will back in court on 28 May.
The police also recovered $10 000 in cash from Chahwanda’s residence. However, Chahwanda’s lawyer told the court that his client had been threatened with violence by the police and that he had been forced to open his safe at gunpoint. He argued that the money was not related to the case.