PRESIDENT Emmerson Mnangagwa has thrown his “niece”, Chantel Chikafu, under the bus after she was arrested for abusing his name in a messy mine ownership wrangle in which she ejected John Maungwa from a Shamva mine.
Chikafu has allegedly been masquerading as President Mnangagwa’s daughter in conducting illicit deals, including defrauding a bank of US$37 000.
However, her arrest followed a meeting held on Thursday in Bindura to resolve the bitter mining wrangle with Maungwa where she reportedly told some Mines ministry officials that she was given a special grant to mine in Umfurudzi Game Park, including at Maungwa’s Wickman 23 Mine by the President.
Chikafu, who spoke through her lawyers in the bank fraud case which is before the courts, said she was the President’s niece, as her father Patson Mnangagwa was the President’s elder brother.
Mashonaland Central police spokesperson Inspector Milton Mundembe yesterday said he would only confirm the matter today (Monday) after getting all the details.
“I will have to verify. I can only confirm to you tomorrow (today) after getting all the details,” Mundembe said.
However, a police source close to the matter yesterday confirmed that Chikafu was picked up by law enforcement agents.
“It’s true, she has been arrested. Her arrest followed her abuse of President Mnangagwa’s name after she told Ministry of Mine officials that she was given a special grant to mine in Umfurudzi Game Park by the President. She has been using the names of Mnangagwa, Zimbabwe Defence Forces commander Phillip Valerio Sibanda and State Security minister Owen Ncube to defy a court order ordering her to vacate a Shamva mine, Maungwa’s mining claims. She also used the President’s name to defraud CBZ Bank of US$37 000 and the matter is in the courts as I speak,” he said.
The source said Chikafu was in police custody and was waiting to be taken to court today.
“She has been in the cells since Saturday afternoon and will be taken to court tomorrow. I think the authorities decided to arrest her because she has been using names of big people including President Mnangagwa with impunity to conduct illicit deals and has been going scot-free,” he said.
Chikafu reportedly dropped Sibanda and Ncube’s names while defying a High Court order evicting her from the mine located in Umfurudzi Game Park.
She is reportedly working with Shamva North legislator Oscar Gorerino to wrest the mining claims from Maungwa.
She was recently ordered off the mine by the High Court, which ruled that Maungwa had a legal right to the property.
Despite the ruling, Chikafu has remained on the ground, claiming she enjoys protection from Sibanda and Ncube.
The saga has also sucked in officer commanding police in Mashonaland Central province, Assistant Commissioner David Mahoya, who is being accused of failing to implement a directive from the provincial Joint Operations Command to evict her.
High Court judge Justice Jacob Manzunzu in his order on April 29 directed that Maungwa be restored possession of Wickman 23 Mine which Chikafu and some Zanu PF youths invaded and illegally occupied on April 17.
The woman, who allegedly has four different ID cards, passed herself off as “Chantelle Mnangagwa”, daughter of the President, to defraud CBZ Bank and the Zimbabwe National Parks and Wildlife Authority of a gold claim.
When she appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba, she had another identity as she assured the court that she was “Chantelle Chikafu Mnangagwa” and was actually only a niece of the President.
State prosecutor Lancelot Mutsokota had opposed bail saying she was using four different national identification particulars and if released on bail, Chikafu could manufacture more IDs and commit more offences.
“According to police investigations, the accused has four IDs she is using, including the name Chantelle Mnangagwa. She was also fined $6 000 on a previous conviction in Mount Darwin. She had given the police the address of 4099 Tynwald South in Harare, but she had left those premises three years ago and the stand is now a private college.”
Mutsokota told the court that there were 10 witnesses who would testify in court.