Suspected land baron Felix Munyaradzi who is facing fresh new charges of defeating the course of justice and interfering with State witnesses was arrested yesterday, hours after police and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit announced that they had launched a manhunt for him
Munyaradzi was first arrested last year on allegations of duping stand seekers in Sandton near Westgate in Harare but was released on bail.
Munyaradzi is being accused of obstructing the course of justice and interfering with witnesses in a case in which police Commissioner Erasmus Makodza was arrested and charged with criminal abuse of duty as a public officer.
It was alleged that in 2019, Makodza decided to corruptly benefit from police projects in Mashonaland East during the time he was commanding officer for the province.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi yesterday’s confirmed Munyaradzi’s arrest.
Earlier, police had issued a statement saying: “The Zimbabwe Republic Police Special Investigation Unit and Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) are appealing for information which may lead to the location of Felix Munyaradzi in connection with criminal investigations which are currently underway.
“The suspect has not cooperated with police despite several invitations to him through his legal team. Anyone with information should contact any nearest police station,” he said.
Probably feeling the heat, Munyaradzi is said to have gone to a police station in the capital where he was immediately placed under arrest.
Recently, police launched investigations against a junior officer accused of abuse of office after she allegedly received kickbacks from Munyaradzi.
Constable Fortunate Dube, who is based in Marondera, is alleged to have been receiving various amounts of cash from Munyaradzi.
Munyaradzi is also alleged to have paid for the car Dube is driving and built her a house in Marondera.
The investigations came after lawyers from Nyamayaro, Makanza and Bakasa Legal Practitioners, who are representing Commissioner Makodza, recently made a complaint against Dube to Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga.
The lawyers said Dube’s conduct soiled the reputation of police as she was being involved in corrupt activities with Munyaradzi.
Recently Munyaradzi was in remand prison for illegally parcelling out land and was also alleged to have been clandestinely allowed to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in Zvimba without being granted bail by a court.
Last month, a Harare man, Collen Mavhundutse (38) made a report to the police to investigate allegations that Munyaradzi allegedly connived with two Zimbabwe Prisons and Correctional Service (ZPCS) officers to allow him to attend the funeral.
According to the report, after attending the funeral, it is alleged that Munyaradzi then went to sleep at his house in Borrowdale before returning to prison the following day. He is also alleged to have slaughtered two beasts for the two officers before giving them about 200 chickens.
He was arrested last year on allegations of duping people who wanted to buy stands at Sandton near Westgate in Harare before he was later freed on $55 000 bail and other stringent conditions set after spending some days in prison.
ZPCS this week issued a statement saying the temporary release from remand prison of Munyaradzi to attend his father-in-law’s funeral in August last year was above board.
According to ZPCS, Munyaradzi was granted temporary release from prison by Minister of Justice, Legal and Parliamentary Affairs, Ziyambi Ziyambi.
ZPCS was responding to allegations by Mavhundutse that prison officials had corruptly released Munyaradzi.
Circumstances leading to Munyaradzi’s arrest last year were that in 2015, his firm Delatfin Investments, entered into a swap deal with Mr Delish Nguwaya for the sale of stands in exchange for a Toyota Prado.
Delatfin Investments sold three residential stands — 1572, 1516 and 1471 — in Sandton Park in Mt Hampden, worth US$50 000 and Mr Nguwaya surrendered the Prado and an agreement of sale was signed on February 2, 2018.
It is alleged that Munyaradzi went on to sell the stands to other people, and when Mr Nguwaya complained, he agreed to compensate him with eight smaller stands in Sandton Park.
But then Munyaradzi allegedly went on to sell one of the stands to Tawanda Mashumba for US$30 000.
It is the State’s case that Mr Nguwaya was aware that the stand in question had already been sold, and he lost US$15 000 in the process.
On April 20, 2015, Delatfin Investments was offered 120 hectares of State land by the Ministry of Local Government to develop residential stands.
The land was previously used by the police for breeding horses.
In 2016, Munyaradzi through his firm, allegedly sold a stand fraudulently to one Mrs Gabaza for US$18 000, a stand in Sandton Phase 3 to a Mr Dondo for US$22 000 and another stand in the same neighbourhood to Makodza for US$40 000.
Makodza is said to have later discovered that his stand had allegedly been sold for a second time to a Mrs Nyongo by Munyaradzi, forcing him to lodge a complaint with the police.