Man up for $15 000 extortion
Margaret Matibiri Herald Reporter
A Harare man yesterday appeared in court on allegations of extorting $15 000 from a businessman.
According to the State, Delish Nguwaya (32) told Mr Bruce Michael Blake that he was under police investigation for spying, and that the investigations would only be stopped if he paid the said money.
It is alleged that after his arrest, Nguwaya’s car was searched and a sachet containing cocaine was found.
Nguwaya yesterday appeared before magistrate Ms Barbra Chimboza facing charges of extortion, possession of cocaine and contravening the Medicines and Allied Substances Control Act.
He was remanded in custody to Monday for bail ruling after the prosecution opposed bail.
Prosecutor Mr Sebastian Mutizirwa called the investigating officer, Chief Inspector Mutumwa Zviedzai, to the witness stand who concurred that Nguwaya was not a proper candidate for bail.
He said Nguwaya had similar pending cases before the court, hence he was likely to reoffend if granted bail.
“The accused person has pending cases of extortion which have not yet been finalised,” he said. “We have overwhelming evidence against the accused person as we found him in possession of the trap money at the time of his arrest.
“He is likely to interfere with State witnesses into whom he instilled fear, therefore, the court must not grant him bail. We also recovered cocaine and it is a very dangerous substance.”
In response, Nguwaya’s lawyers, Messrs Admire Rubaya and Oliver Marwa, maintained that their client was innocent until proven guilty.
Mr Rubaya raised a complainant against a Chief Superintendent Majachani whom he accused of physically assaulting Nguwaya while in police custody.
He said it was Nguwaya’s constitutional right to be granted bail.
Mr Rubaya said Nguwaya was a proper candidate for bail since he had never been convicted of any offence.
“The pending matters that the investigating officer has made reference to are matters in which the accused was removed from remand,” he said. “On the other case he was removed from remand in 2013 and the other one was removed last year.
“The investigating officer cannot claim that the whitish substance found in the vehicle is cocaine because he is not in a position to give that conclusion as he is not a forensic officer.”
After hearing submissions from both counsels, Ms Chimboza rolled over the matter to Monday for bail ruling.
Mr Mutizirwa alleged that on March 4, Nguwaya demanded $15 000 from Mr Blake.
It is alleged Nguwaya told him Mr Blake he was being investigated on allegations of being a spy and demanded $15 000 to faciliatate dropping of the charges.
Nguwaya kept on pestering Mr Blake, prompting him to make a report to the police, the court heard.
Police officers from CID Drugs set up a trap and, according to the State, Nguwaya was arrested after receiving the trap money.
The court heard that Nguwaya’s vehicle was searched and a khaki envelope containing cocaine was discovered under the driver’s seat.
The State alleges that Nguwaya was also found in possession of a prescription drug, sildenafil..