A 41-year-old Harare man yesterday appeared in court for allegedly drafting a letter purporting to be from the First Lady Grace Mugabe, directing Energy and Power Development Deputy Minister Tsitsi Muzenda to give him a job in the ministry.
Deputy Minister Muzenda, acting on the misrepresentation, responded by confirming receipt of the letter and handed it back to the man for onward transmission to the First Lady.
Vengai Sithole also misrepresented to the deputy minister that he once worked for the First Family before he was involved in an accident. Sithole appeared before magistrate Ms Nomsa Sabarauta charged with fraud.
Representing the State, Mr Tapiwa Kasema opposed bail saying Sithole was likely to abscond as he was of no fixed aboard. He also submitted that Sithole was facing a serious offence and was likely to be convicted due to overwhelming evidence.
In response, Sithole told the court that he had a house in Budiriro and was a family man, hence would not abscond. Ms Sabarauta remanded him in custody to Monday for bail ruling and ordered the State to verify if indeed Sithole was of fixed aboard.
It is the State’s case that between August 1 and September 8 and on several other occasions, Sithole went to Deputy Minister Muzenda’s workplace where he misrepresented to her that he was highly connected to the First Lady and as such she had referred him to her.
He allegedly said that Dr Mugabe wanted Deputy Minister Muzenda to secure employment for him in her ministry, before giving her the fake letter. Sithole told the deputy that Dr Mugabe needed feedback.
Sithole, the court heard, also lied that he resided at Dr Mugabe’s children’s home in Mazowe. He further misrepresented that he was once employed by the First Family until he was involved in an accident in which he was seriously injured.
It is the State’s case that Sithole went on to tell Deputy Minister Muzenda that after the accident, the First Lady paid for his medical treatment and bought him hearing aids worth $1 600.
Sithole told the deputy minister that through the influence of the First Lady, he had managed to submit his curriculum vitaes to various Government departments seeking employment.
On August 29, Deputy Minister Muzenda visited the First Lady’s children’s home in Mazowe and through investigations discovered that Sithole had misrepresented facts after the First Lady distanced herself from him.