Prominent radio and television personality Tichafa Matambanadzo — popularly known as Tich Mataz — is allegedly on the run after he was implicated in the high-profile fraud case involving Air Commodore Kennedy Zimondi, senior police officers confirmed yesterday.
Zimondi, who is also the director-general of military sports in the Ministry of Defence, is alleged to have connived with two other accomplices, including Matambanadzo, to swindle a Harare man, Jimmy Makurumbandi, of $5 000 in March this year.
Zimondi, together with the other alleged accomplice Edith Chinyagare, appeared in court on Monday in connection with the case, but Mataz was said to be on the run.
Zimondi is due to return to court today for bail hearing. He was remanded in custody on his first court appearance on Monday. Sources close to the investigations confirmed yesterday police were hunting for Mataz, adding that raids had been carried out at his home several times but he had remained elusive.
“He is on the run and we are looking for him. We have been to his home, but have failed to locate him, so he knows he is wanted in connection with the case,” said a detective close to the matter.
The spokesperson for the Criminal Investigation Department, Augustine Zimbili, could neither confirm nor deny the allegations, saying he was out of the office.
“I’m not aware of the case, so I will have to verify with the relevant section. I am out of the office at the moment, but you can get me later,” he said.
Zimbili could not be reached for comment by the time of going to press last night.
According to the State outline presented by prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema in court on Monday during Zimondi’s bail hearing, Zimondi, Chinyangare and Matambanadzo allegedly misrepresented to Makurumbandi that they had organised a trip to Geneva, Switzerland, on government business.
The arrangement was that the complainant would proceed with Matambanadzo and Chinyangare in place of Zimondi whom they alleged was under a travel ban. Zimondi and his accomplices allegedly requested for the complainant to pay $5 000 for their trip as it was a self-sponsored journey and promised he would be refunded on return.
“When the accused persons made the arrangements, they well knew that such a trip was not in place,” read the State outline.
“In a bid to convince the complainant that all was well, the three accused persons went on to show the complainant a travel confirmation which they well knew that it was a booking.”