THE trial of ZBC radio presenter Rutendo Makuti on allegations of attempting to extort money from leader of Goodness and Mercy Ministries Tapiwa Freddy by threatening to expose their l0ve affair to the public has been set for next month.
Makuti’s trial has been set to September 8 where she is expected to jointly appear with Chief Chikwaka (Witness Bungu), former police office Gibson Jaji, and ZBC staffer Mutetepi Maushe.
Freddy was charged, but acquitted of rap!ng Makuti and the present trial follows on complaints made to the police by Freddy.
The State alleges that when Makuti and Freddy had a l0ve affair, and while they were still together, she allegedly started threatening him that if he did not meet her financial and material demands she would expose the affair to the public.
In August last year, Freddy was summoned by Chief Chikwaka to his homestead, but after he was tipped off that there might be some police officers who wanted to extort money from him he then left without entering the chiefly homestead, it is alleged.
But as he was returning to Harare, he was said to have been stopped by police manning a roadblock along Mutoko Road just after the intersection near Chief Chikwaka’s homestead.
The State alleges that the police said they had been instructed by Inspector Jaji and Chief Chikwaka not to allow him to pass through. After a few minutes, two men arrived at the roadblock and introduced themselves as Chief Chikwaka and Inspector Jaji.
They allegedly ordered Freddy to drive to his place, but he refused to comply, according to the State.
It is alleged that Inspector Jaji forcefully entered Freddy’s car and ordered him to drive to the Chief’s homestead where he discovered some uniformed police officers seated in a hut with six assistants to the chief.
The State alleged that Chief Chikwaka started accusing Freddy of rap!ng Makuti and having s_3xual relations with her barely a year after the death of her husband, which was against their traditions.
He allegedly told the clergyman to pay something for violating the traditions, but refused to deal with the ra_pe allegations since the police had to handle criminal cases.
It is said that Freddy felt that whatever was happening was illegal, but he was allegedly pressured to promise to pay US$15 000 and three goats and promised to return on a later date with the items.
Allegations are that Chief Chikwaka made him sign an agreement, which was prepared by Inspector Jaji and who promised to track him down in Harare if he failed to pay, and pick him up during his church services.
It is said that Chief Chikwaka told Freddy that if he failed to comply he would leak a video of him he had recorded to the public. The court heard that when they returned to Harare, Makuti asked Freddy to give her the money since she was the one who was involved with him.
She then allegedly threatened that if he failed to give her the money she would expose their love affair to the public through someone called Tatelicious.
Out of fear and pressure, Freddy allegedly gave Makuti a Mercedes Benz E-250 and she allegedly warned him never to reveal their deal and made him sign an agreement, saying it was a way of settling their differences.
After some days, Makuti allegedly started threatening Freddy, saying his secretary Nollen Mundawaro had insulted her and she wanted US$20 000 as compensation.
She allegedly told him that Ms Mundawaro could not represent his church on their radio and television programmes.
The other ZBC staffer, Maushe, allegedly phoned Freddy that he had up to the end of the day to pay the US$20 000 and sign an acknowledgement that he had ra_ped Makuti.
It was at this stage that Freddy lodged a complaint with the police. He was tried on ra_pe charges and found not guilty with the court commenting unfavourably on the allegations.