Monday, 1 February 2021


TWO Harare men, posing as Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) officials to swindle businesses for distorting the foreign currency official exchange rate, have been arrested.

The two were arrested over the weekend in Shurugwi as they attempted to swindle a supermarket owner whom they said was distorting the official foreign currency exchange rate.

The official foreign currency exchange rate is 1:82 but some unscrupulous business people are charging as much as 1:110.

Upon the arrest of Maxwell Chidawaya (46) of Kuwadzana 6 and Mike Chidziyo (42) of Number 229 in Hopley, police officers recovered RBZ and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission name tags bearing their names, a fake RBZ fines book and a white T-shirt with a RBZ badge in their Mazda BT50 twin cab.

The two, police said, had swindled hundreds of businesses in several towns and cities of varying amounts of cash, and identical suits and neckties which they were using as uniforms. The total value of amounts swindled from businesspeople is still to be ascertained.

Midlands provincial police spokesperson, Inspector Emmanuel Mahoko yesterday confirmed the arrest of Chidawaya and Chidziyo in Shurugwi on Saturday.

“I can confirm police arrested two criminals from Harare who have been going around posturing as RBZ officials before swindling businesses.

“The two were arrested after they approached management at Vital Supermarket in Shurugwi and demanded to see their receipts and how they were using the forex exchange rate,” he said.

Insp Mahoko said the owner of the supermarket then called the police as the two, who were dressed in suits, continued to ask some questions while soliciting for bribes.

“When the police arrived at the supermarket, they found the two seated in the manager’s office and were asked to produce their identity particulars.

“After some further interrogation the two then changed their story and said they were members of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc),” he said.

Insp Mahoko said police also discovered some fake identity cards and some knobkerries in the pair’s car.

“Upon searching their vehicle, the police discovered four Zacc identity cards bearing different names, they also found some RBZ badges and a fake RBZ receipt book and an okapi.

“They also indicated after some interviews that they had also swindled various businesses in Gweru and other towns using the same modus operandi,” he said. Chronicle


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