Senior Court Reporter
A former police officer who was stationed at ZRP Juru, appeared in court yesterday on allegations of demanding a US$15 000 bribe from evangelist and Goodness and Mercy Ministries leader Tapiwa Freddy, also known as Prophet T. Freddy.
Gibson Jaji (50) was not asked to plead to the extortion charge when he appeared before magistrate Ms Yeukai Dzuda, who remanded him in custody to December 28.
According to the State, sometime in 2020, Freddy was involved in a love affair with radio personality Rutendo Makuti, who is appearing in court on the same charges.
The court heard that during the subsistence of their relationship, Makuti started threatening Freddy that if he failed to meet her financial and material demands, then she would expose their affair to the public.
In August this year, Freddy was summoned by Chief Chikwaka (Witness Bungu) to the latter’s homestead but he was tipped off that there were some police officers who wanted to extort him.
As he was returning to Harare, he was allegedly stopped by police manning a roadblock along Mutoko Road just a junction near Chief Chikwaka’s homestead.
Police at the roadblock said they had been instructed by Inspector Jaji and Chief Chikwaka not to allow him passage.
After a few minutes, two men arrived at the roadblock and introduced themselves as Chief Chikwaka and Inspector Jaji and ordered Freddy to drive to the chief’s residence but Freddy refused to comply, according to the State.
It is alleged that Inspector Jaji forcefully entered Freddy’s car and ordered him to drive to the Chief’s homestead where he saw some uniformed police officers seated in a hut with six assistants to the chief.
Chief Chikwaka allegedly started accusing Freddy of raping Makuti and having sexual relations with her barely a year after the death of her husband, which was against their traditions.
He allegedly told the evangelist to pay a fine for violating traditions but did not deal with the rape allegations since the police had to handle criminal cases.
It is said Freddy felt that whatever was happening was illegal but he was allegedly pressured to promise to pay US$15 000 and three goats and promised to return on a later date with the money.
Allegations are that Chief Chikwaka made him sign an agreement which was prepared by Inspector Jaji, who threatened to track him down in Harare if he failed to pay.
Jaji reportedly told Freddy that he would arrest him in front of congregants during one of his church services if he failed to comply.
It is alleged Chief Chikwaka also threatened to leak to the public, a video of him he had recorded. When they returned to Harare, Makuti allegedly asked Freddy to give her the money since she was the one who was involved with him.
She then allegedly threatened that if he failed to give her the money, she would expose their love affair to the public through someone called Tatelicious.
Out of fear and pressure, Freddy allegedly gave Makuti a Mercedes Benz E250 and she allegedly warned him never to reveal the ‘deal’ and made him sign an agreement, saying it was a way of settling their differences.
After some days, Makuti allegedly started threatening Freddy, saying his secretary Nollen Mundawaro had insulted her and she wanted US$20 000 as compensation.