TWO top aides in President’s Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office have been remanded in custody for extortion after they were allegedly caught red-handed receiving a bribe from Chinese investors.
Patrick Badza (46), a senior programmes manager in the President’s Office and his subordinate Simabarashe Chester Matsvimbo (39) were arrested after the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) set up a trap.
They were not asked to plead when they appeared before magistrate Estere Chivasa yesterday.
It is alleged that the duo demanded bribe from Kyle Dongchuan Wang (29) the managing director of Live Touch mining company in KweKwe so that they could facilitate the processing of temporary employment permits applications for 33 Chinese nationals following the expansion of the company into limestone mining.
It is alleged that between March and April 2021, Wang submitted the application for the permits to the Immigration Department and the applications were forwarded to the committee on foreign recruitment for processing.
The committee made a site visit at the mine where the operations officer Junior Zigora showed them around.
On May 14, Zigora received a call from Badza who told him that he was from the President’s Office and solicited for a reward or consideration in order to make favourable recommendations for the permits of the Chinese nationals to be processed.
Zigora referred Badza to Wang and he again made the same demand.
Wang reported the matter to Zacc on May 17, 2021 and the commission decided to set up a trap for the two, leading to the duo’s arrest the following day after receiving a US$3 500 bribe.