The two suspected fraudsters who allegedly masqueraded as military intelligence officers before attempting to extort US$40 000 from Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries founder Prophet Walter Magaya were yesterday released on $300 bail each coupled with some stringent conditions.
Takesure Marisa (50), who is an ex-soldier, and Petners Zvabva (45) allegedly demanded “protection fees” from Prophet Magaya.
Zvabva introduced herself as Lieutenant-Colonel Zvobgo while Marisa identified himself as Major-General Dube.
The pair yesterday appeared before magistrate Mrs Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro, who granted them bail.
As part of their bail conditions, they were ordered to report twice a week to the police, not to interfere with witnesses and to continue residing at their given addresses until the matter is finalised.
The pair allegedly misrepresented to the man of the cloth that the money was wanted by their superiors who had powers to protect or plot Magaya’s downfall.
Zvabva and Marisa denied extortion and impersonation charges when they initially appeared in court on Thursday.
Though Marisa denied the charges, he further told the court that he had only been hired.
They are both represented by Harare lawyer Mr Charles Warara.
It is the State’s case Zvabva called PHD MInistries overseer Mr Admire Mango and claimed she was handling a case involving Prophet Magaya and requested to meet him at Rowan Martin Building.
Mr Mango subsequently met with Zvabva who introduced herself as Lt-Col Zvobgo and claimed she was handling a case involving Prophet Magaya that had been brought to her attention, it is alleged.
She further alleged she was in possession of a document from a certain group of people who wanted to demonstrate against the man of the cloth before demanding US$40 000 for her to stop the alleged demonstration.
The next day, Zvabva called Mr Mango again and threatened to make life difficult for Prophet Magaya if the money was not paid.
On that day she demanded R2 500 which she was paid, the court heard.
Marisa, the State alleged, later called Mr Mango and introduced himself as Maj-Gen Dube and told him that the R2 500 was “a pittance” little and was still expecting the US$40 000.
Mr Mango reported the matter to the police leading to the arrest of the duo.