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CRIME

Madam Boss Attacked By ‘Hitmen’

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Tyra Chikocho aka Madam Boss

Madam Boss who narrowly escaped an early night attack on Monday by suspected hitmen at her Sunridge home is traumatised.

So dire is her situation that she needs counselling and protection from the law as the incident still haunts her.

Madam Boss is now convinced she has become a target of many, including rivals in the game who have been on her neck.

Madam Boss said she is lucky to be alive but reckons her life was under threat.

A complaint was lodged at Mabelreign Police Station.

“I’m still traumatised after last night (Monday)’s drama at my house on my way from town,” she said.

“It all happened in a flash and I don’t know how I survived along with my friends’ Meme (Mercy Gumbo) and Tsitsi Kachembere who were in the car.

“I was being chauffeured by Mercy Gumbo who happens to be a co-tenant at a complex we are renting.

“Mercy was about to drop me at home after our business meeting around 8 pm when the assailants pounced on us.

“What really traumatised me is that it all happened when I was about to open our gate.”

Madam Boss, who insists she was saved by the Lord, suspects she was the target and the suspected hitmen attacked the rear windscreen targeting where she was seated.

“As I was opening the gate, I had a blast from our parked car, which attracted the attention of neighbours.
“Initially, Mercy and Tsitsi remained quiet maybe in shock but when the rear screen was attacked for the third time, they yelled and the assailants sped off.

“When Mhofela (Madam Boss’s husband) arrived, the assailants had sped off in a black car.

“We lodged a complaint at Mabelreign Police Station but we were told investigation officers had already left and they will only attend to us on Tuesday (yesterday) since it was not an accident,” she said.

Madam Boss, whose cellphone was inundated with calls for the greater part of yesterday, said she was leaving room for investigation.

“As we speak, investigations are currently underway but I take it as a foiled robbery.

“My only fear is my five-year-old old daughter who was inside the house with the maid when the incident happened.

“I’m also worried that my friend Mercy’s car was damaged and she had to leave it at my place,” she said.H-Metro

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CRIME

Phelekezela Mphoko on the run after ZACC attempt to arrest him

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Phelekezela Mphoko

Former Vice President, Phelekezela Mphoko, is on the run after dramatically fleeing from Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers who were set to arrest him in Bulawayo yesterday.

The former Vice President’s movie style escape follows attempts by Zacc officers to take him to Bulawayo Central Police Station to slap him with abuse of office charges for an offence he allegedly committed during his tenure in office.

Mphoko had initially agreed to surrender himself to the Zacc officers at the police station but made a U-turn and sped off, leaving the investigating officers shell-shocked.

Mphoko is being accused of criminal abuse of office after he unlawfully instructed some junior police officers to release from cells, former Zimbabwe National Road Administration (Zinara) acting chief executive, Moses Juma.

Juma was being charged with criminal abuse of office.

Mphoko, who reportedly resisted arrest on Friday at his home in Douglasdale, yesterday agreed to meet Zacc officers at Bulawayo Central Police Station.

His lawyers had gone to Zacc offices to submit his statement but the investigators demanded that he must appear before them.
That is when they agreed to meet at a neutral venue – a police station in the city.

Yesterday afternoon, Mphoko indicated that he was now on his way to the police station for a recording of his warned and cautioned statement.

Upon arrival at the station, Mphoko then drove off at high speed.

Zacc spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure yesterday told The Chronicle that Mphoko was now a fugitive with anti-corruption officials pursuing him.

“He (Mphoko) ran away and as we speak he is on the run and Zacc officials are on the ground looking for him. The officials went to court, but he ran away. In fact, they went to a police post after having indicated that he (Mphoko) was not comfortable with our investigators,” he said.

“When our officials got there, he ran away and he is a fugitive of justice and Zacc officials are on the ground hunting for him.”
However, Mphoko’s lawyer, Mr Zibusiso Ncube, yesterday denied that his client was a fugitive, insisting that he was ready to stand trial.

He said the attempt by Zacc officers to arrest his client was contrary to their initial agreement when the former VP was supposed to just come and sign his warned and cautioned statement at Tredgold Building.

“My client is not a fugitive and he is actually prepared to have his day in court. My client had indicated that he wanted to have his warned and cautioned statement recorded at Tredgold Building where we then agreed to meet,” he said.

Mr Ncube said his client later raised fears of abduction in the event that they took him to the police station.

“If you look at the circumstances of the case, my client’s fears of being abducted seem to be confirmed in the sense that on Friday an official from Zacc called and I told him I was at a church camp meeting out of Bulawayo. I told him that I would be back on Sunday and we agreed to meet on Monday.

“I was then later disappointed to learn that they stormed my client’s house and tried to arrest him contrary to what we had agreed on,” he said.

Mr Ncube said on arrival at Tredgold Building, they were accosted by two officials from Zacc.

“When I went to Tredgold with my client we were accosted by two Zacc officials and they indicated to us that there was a change of plan and that we were now supposed to go to Bulawayo Central Police Station, which was a betrayal of sincerity,” he said.

Mr Ncube said he is now in the process of writing a letter informing the Zacc chairperson Justice Loice Matanda-Moyo about what transpired.

“I am working on a letter addressed to the Zacc chairperson because social media is now awash with reports that my client is refusing to co-operate, which is wrong. He simply wants his safety guaranteed and my client is willing to be given a trial date depending on Zacc’s readiness,” he said.

Allegations against Mr Mphoko are that in 2016, while he was still Vice President, he stormed Avondale Police Station to release Juma.

Mphoko, during that time, threatened to beat junior police officers at the station if they failed to comply with his demands.

Juma was later re-arrested and sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of abuse of office.

According to court papers, on May 6, 2016, Zacc received a report of allegations of fraud and criminal abuse of duty against Zinara officials.

Investigations that ensued resulted in the arrest of Davison Norupiri and Juma. The two were charged with criminal abuse of duty as defined in section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act and their warned and cautioned statements were recorded on July 12, 2016.

After the arrest, Juma and Norupiri were taken to Avondale Police Station the following day pending their appearance in court.

On the same day at around 6 PM, Mphoko, who was at the time the Acting President, stormed the police station and ordered the immediate release of Juma and Norupiri from lawful police custody. The officer-in-charge complied with Mphoko’s order and released the two men before Mphoko drove away with them in his car.

It was stated that Mphoko acted in a manner that was inconsistent with his duties as a public officer, which was in violation of section 106 of the constitution.

The ex-Vice President resisted arrest on Friday at his Douglasdale house after dramatically refusing to co-operate with Zacc arresting officers whilst his wife Laurinda and daughter Siduduzo ordered the officials out. The Chronicle

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CRIME

Jeffrey Epstein ‘takes his own life in prison’

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Jeffrey Epstein

Jeffrey Epstein has been found dead in his prison cell while awaiting trial on sex trafficking charges, US media report.

His body was discovered at 07:30 local time (11:30 GMT) on Saturday at the facility in New York.

The circumstances of his death are unclear. He was reportedly on suicide watch following an earlier incident.

Jeffrey Epstein, 66, had pleaded not guilty to sex trafficking and conspiracy charges and was being held without bail.

Last month, he was found semi-conscious in his cell with injuries to his neck. He was treated at a nearby hospital, reports say, before being returned to New York’s Metropolitan Correctional Center.

Epstein was accused of paying girls under the age of 18 to perform sex acts at his Manhattan and Florida mansions between 2002 and 2005.

He was arrested on 6 July after landing in New Jersey on his private jet.

New York-born Epstein worked as a teacher before moving into finance.

Prior to the criminal cases against him, he was best known for his wealth and high-profile connections.

He was often seen socialising with the rich and powerful, including President Donald Trump, former President Bill Clinton and the UK’s Prince Andrew.

Reports of Jeffrey Epstein’s wealth vary, with his Virgin Islands-based firm generating no public records.BBC

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BUSINESS

President Mnangagwa fires Prisca Mupfumira

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Prisca Mupfumira fired

President Emmerson Mnangagwa fired Tourism Minister Prisca Mupfumira on Thursday, a statement from Zimbabwe’s presidency said, after she was detained over the disappearance of millions of dollars during her time as welfare minister.

Prisca Mupfumira is facing seven corruption charges linked to $94 million missing from the country’s pension fund.

She was “removed … from the office of a cabinet minister and minister of government with immediate effect”, the statement said, without giving further details.

Mupfumira was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission in July, becoming the first sitting minister of the ruling Zanu-PF party to be jailed for graft under Mnangagwa’s new administration.

Mupfumira was sacked as social welfare minister by ex-president Robert Mugabe weeks before a military-led coup that toppled the long-time ruler in November 2017.

After the putsch, she was re-appointed with a new portfolio.

Mnangagwa has identified endemic corruption as a major contributor to the country’s economic woes and vowed to root it out.AFP

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