Former US Congressman arrested

Former US Congressman Melvin Jay Reynolds (in cap) after he was arrested by immigration officials and CID officers  at Bronte Garden Hotel in Harare yesterday. — (Picture By Justin Mutenda)

Former US Congressman Melvin Jay Reynolds (in cap) after he was arrested by immigration officials and CID officers at Bronte Garden Hotel in Harare yesterday. — (Picture By Justin Mutenda)

Farai Kuvirimirwa Herald Reporter
Former United States Congressman for Chicago Melvin Jay Reynolds, who came into Zimbabwe last year purporting to be a middleman for foreign investors in the tourism industry, was yesterday arrested for violating immigration laws and possessing pornographic material. He had also accumulated bills worth US$24 500 at two hotels which he was yet to pay.
Reynolds, who was convicted on 12 counts of statutory rape, obstruction of justice and solicitation of child pornography before he resigned from his seat in the USA was picked up by police detectives and immigration officials at Bronte Garden Hotel.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba had said police officers on the ground did not arrest someone like him.

Assistant Regional Immigration Officer Francis Mabika differed and confirmed the incident, saying he will avail more information surrounding the issue today.

“He has been picked up. Investigations are still underway and revealing information will jeopardise investigations that are underway,” he said.

According to his former aide identified as Sunny, Reynolds was in possession of pornographic material he shot on different occasions while in the company of a model (name supplied) and several girls in his hotel rooms.

“His travel documents were not up to date and he used to bring beautiful women at different times. He employed five of us including a personal assistant and a driver.

“He currently has unpaid hotel bills of more than US$24 500 accrued at two local hotels,” he said.
Another closely placed source said Reynolds shot more than 100 pornographic videos and a further 2 000 nude pictures while he was in the company of at least 10 women including famous models.

“Reynolds entered Zimbabwe via Plumtree Border Post on November 13, where he was given a 14 day visa. The visa was later renewed and expired again on December 10 and he has been in the country illegally all along.

“He conducted the acts in the hotel rooms when he was guarded by four personal aides that were on his payroll,” he said.
When The Herald arrived at the hotel at around 1pm, Reynolds was being escorted to a vehicle and was demanding his mobile phone and the laptop from the officials.

“It’s the way it is and I have been in this country 17 times where I have done a lot of work for the people including the fight against sanctions.

“I misplaced my passport but I found it implying that I am not certain if I breached immigration laws against this country.
“I am sure I will find out about that. They denied me my passport so that I can contact the United States Embassy which is a violation of international laws,” said Reynolds.

Reynolds said he was not expecting the treatment after bringing several investors in the country.
He recently hogged the limelight after he was connected to the construction of the US$145 million five-star Hilton Hotel and office complex along Samora Machel Avenue in Eastlea which was scheduled to begin in April this year.
The project was expected to be completed in late 2016.

He toured the construction site back then in the company of Government ministers Walter Mzembi, Webster Shamu and Ignatius Chombo, and businessman Mr Farai Jere.

According to American newspapers, Reynolds resigned from a Congress post he held for two years in 1995, in his homeland after he was convicted of statutory rape, bank fraud, obstruction of justice and having sex with a 16-year-old campaign volunteer.

He was sentenced to five years in prison before he was further given an additional sentence of 78 months in federal prison for 15 unrelated counts of bank fraud and lying to investigators.

He served all of his first sentence, and served 42 months in prison for the later charges before former US president Bill Clinton commuted the sentence for bank fraud in 2001.

Reynolds was released from prison and served the remaining time in a halfway house and was hired by Jesse Jackson’’s Rainbow/Push Coalition to decrease the number of young blacks going to prison.

Halfway houses are meant for reintegration of persons who have been recently released from jail.

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  • Toko

    Wow! Some other bastards are coming to eat our country sideways, while we bicker. This guy was having the time of his life, on a budget. He could NEVER enjoy himself to that extent on his limited funds, were he back in the good old U.S of A. A former U.S.congressman. Well, most of those guys are scandals waiting for exposure.
    Well done to the vigilant officers. Zimbabwe has standards, and a conscience.
    Cocaine is one helluva drug.

    • Bernard Profitendieu

      he was never a Senator … he was only in the lower House briefly until he was forced to resign and go to prison. Never a Senator.

      • Toko

        I stand corrected. Senator, representative, same difference.

  • s shumba

    Desperate ZPF party hired this thug, to enhance their image, and was supposed to pay for his upkeep here in Zim. They have now dumped him – SHAME …or is it congratulations!!.
    This serves as a lesson to all – never trust this ZPF party

    • Toko

      This man misbehaved in his own capacity as an American citizen. He misled ZPF into paying for his services as a lobbyist when he had no influence on capital hill. He’s just a bastard who’s luck ran out.

    • Toko

      You can’t fault ZPF for trying to fix their situation. This guy misrepresented himself as a lobbyist with influence on capital hill. Meanwhile he’s a petty criminal who smoked too much crack back in America, and his misbehavior is neither endorsed nor encouraged by ZPF. He’s his own man in control of his faculties who acted in his personal capacity.

      • Bernard Profitendieu

        a quick google search would have assured them he has zero influence in Washington. How lazy can they be not to check his sordid history?

        • Toko

          ZPF is not the most alert organization judging from the “we fell asleep at the wheel” type statements from high ups regarding ‘salarygate’. However, the man was a U.S. congressman and most lobbyists in Washington are former politicians.
          He’s a fraudster, and I’m sure it was easy enough for him to hoodwink these guys.

        • Toko

          Plus he did work for Jesse Jackson’’s Rainbow/Push Coalition, so a “quick search” would have revealed a gainfully employed man with a political past. Good enough.

  • tiger

    batai munhu

  • T vannieKaap

    And to think this guy is a Rhodes Scholar – went to Oxford University courtesy of Cecil John Rhodes, so he’s not stupid. Well, he is, getting busted the way he did. Intelligent, and stupid at the same time. He must be the worst Rhodes Scholar ever!

    • sulaak

      He learnt well, from that racist crook Cecil Rhodes

    • Toko

      You forgot about a gentleman named William Jefferson Clinton, or were you being facetious?

      • T vannieKaap

        Hi Toko, I hadn’t forgotten about ol’ Bill, I did a study of Rhodes Scholars last year and these were the only two rascals I could find. The problem with Bill Clinton is that ALL US presidents are rascals, it’s a requirement for the job, but he seems to have stayed reasonably clean out of office. Google Mel Reynolds, see what the Chicago papers say about him. A serial confidence trickster with zero money.

        • Toko

          Did Clinton attend Rhodes at the same time as Mel, because he did pardon him?
          You’re right about ALL American presidents being dirty though. Obama has a very interesting background, and Chicago, from where both Mel and Barack hail, is the most corrupt city in the U.S.
          Do you know R. Kelly, the musician from Chicago? This is his m.o. as well.

    • Rob Singer

      cecil rhodes was a pure terrorist ..for them to even have a scholar is a crime

  • Bernard Profitendieu

    He’s a grifter. Lock him up and throw away the key. The world is a better place when this thug is behind bars.

  • Rico Suave

    Zimbabwe can keep this pedophile. Please do us a favor and sentence this pervert to 30 years of hard labor. Jesse will soon be coming to his rescue however.

    • Rob Singer

      jess just make a phone call to the president .. and he will be out in a minute … they know each otrher real well

  • rejco

    The people of Illinois really know how to pick them….DIRTY DIRTY DIRTY!

  • rejco

    At the age of 42 he brutally raped a little girl in 1992.

  • V-ger

    I get that he overstayed his visa, and I get that he is a scumbag fraudster. But, where does the pornography come in? It sounds like he paid the “models”, is this illegal? Or, was he making pedo stuff? Not suggesting that anything is ok and if pornography is against the law there, BRAVO! Just asking if anyone can clarify what he actually did that was not legal.

    • gogo

      Possession of and the Act of Pornography is Illegal in Zimbabwe…oh by the way including Homosexuality too. Kukundwa nenguruve, madhongi nembwa. Kana svosve chairo

      • Toko

        Homosexuality is not illegal gogo, sodomy is the crime.

    • roosh

      Possesion of pornographic material is highly an offense in Zimbabwe. whether you paid them or not, you are not allowed to be in posession of intimate people in whatsoever form.

    • kaguvi2

      pornography is illegal in Zim bro.

    • Muntu Omnyama

      All that he did was illegal. Just a fraudster that overan his luck

    • V-ger

      Thank you for the responses! Throw the book at this guy.

  • Rob Singer

    45 % of the people walking around in america is illegal immigrants ..

    • Toko

      Maybe not quite that many but there’s plenty illegals crawling around, that’s for sure. Immigration law enforcement has become big business for private corporations, and uncle Sam as well.

  • RSpringfield

    That’s why we called guys like him: “stupid criminals.”

  • Macon Sense

    This increases his Presidential creds in the eyes of the Democrat voter.

    • Guest

      Not to be confused with Republicans who have scandals too.

    • Hotspaghetti

      Yeah he may make republican senator with this one.

  • Chingwa

    Pornography is illegal in Zimbabwe weather its with an adult or worse with a child!! The sentences however are mild. He might not get the 30 yrs that most people expect. At most he may get 3/4yrs

  • magonde

    Strange that someone claiming to build a hotel for US$145 million can’t pay a US$24k bill. Zimbos, we are easily hoodwinked by criminals. A new wave of paedophiles from the west are already abusing children in Africa coz we are now a soft target after Asia, especially Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc tighten the screw. Can Africa protect its children from these paedophiles? I doubt. We put money before everything.

  • Big Zim

    I understand that Zimbabweians may have a problem looking around to see what’s normal, if you look at each other you may look better than the next guy, but what do you see when you look toward London: Justice? Zims has a 90% unemployment rate with school girls trading for biscuits, no wonder no one cares about corruption or power grabs of opposing party leaders who want to showboat on new the Hilton Hotel stage. Coruption is fought by being pure of heart. However, by locking up American businessman Mel Reynolds, what do you think will happen?

  • war

    I know he’s a dope but porn. being ill. I think that country has bigger problems.

  • Hotspaghetti

    ITT a bunch americans telling Zimbabwe what to do.