Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation (ZBC) presenter, Rutendo Makuti, who was arrested on charges of extorting popular Harare preacher Tapiwa Freddy, appeared in court on Friday and was granted bail.
Makuti (33) is alleged to have been in a relationship with Freddy, founder and leader of Goodness and Mercy Ministries.
She appeared at the Harare Magistrate Sheunesu Matova who remanded her to 9 December for routine remand.
Makuti, who was represented by Tinashe Mbala, was released on $5 000 bail and ordered not to interfere with state witnesses.
Allegations are that sometime in 2020 Freddy (38) had a relationship with Makuti.
During the relationship, it is alleged that she started threatening to expose their affair if he does not meet her financial and material demands.
Prosecutors told the court that sometime in August 2021, Freddy was summoned by Chief Chikwaka and proceeded to the traditional leader’s place.
It is alleged that upon his arrival at the chief’s homestead he was tipped that there were some police officers who wanted to extort him.
Freddy then made a U-turn and sought to return to Harare but was stopped by some police officers who were manning a roadblock.
He was forced to get back to the chief’s homestead where Chief Chikwaka allegedly accused him of raping Makuti.
The chief also accused Freddy of sleeping with the woman before a year had elapsed since the death of her husband, violating traditional norms.
Freddy promised to pay US$15 000. In addition, the chief ordered him to pay three goats and Freddy promised to return at a later date with the money and the goats.
It is alleged that the chief made the pastor sign an agreement which was authored by an Inspector Jaji.
It is further alleged that upon their return to Harare, Makuti told Freddy to hand over the US$15 000 to her personally since she is the one who was aggrieved.
He handed over a Mercedes Benz E250 valued at US$15 000.
t is alleged after some days, Makuti started threatening Freddy again, saying his secretary Nollen Mundawaro had insulted her so she wanted compensation of US$20 000.
On Thursday (yesterday), Makuti’s brother demanded that he pays up the US$20 000 and that he signs an acknowledgement that he had raped her.
He threatened Freddy that he would expose the affair if he failed to pay the money.
Freddy reported the matter to the police leading to Makuti’s arrest.
She was lured to meet with Freddy purportedly to discuss the payment of the US$20 000 and was nabbed at the rendezvous.
The US$15 000 was recovered.