The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has warned members of the public against abusing President Emmerson Mnangagwa and the family’s name to defraud or extort money from companies and individuals.
In a statement, the ZRP said the suspects are defrauding the public on the pretext of being sent by the president to fundraise or collect money for workshops and land sales.
“Some criminals are extorting and confiscating property which includes vehicles, land and cash for personal aggrandisement” while abusing the president's name, said police.
“The ZRP has received numerous reports of criminal acts being committed by suspects who are openly abusing President Mnangagwa and the first family’s names in extortion, fraud, theft and other related criminal acts.
“The suspects are duping members of the public who include individuals, businesspeople and companies on the pretext that they would have been tasked by the first family or [the president] to fundraise or collect money for various activities which include dinner dances, workshops, land sales and other criminal activities.
“The ZRP strongly warns these individuals or groups that the law will take its course without fear or favour.
“Arrests are being effected and these include some land barons in Harare, Banket and other towns in Zimbabwe.”
Police said they will “in due course release the names of suspects who have been arrested and some who are on the radar of investigations and facing arrest soon.”
Recently two men who passed themselves off as land officials were charged with fraud after duping desperate home-seekers of US$4,200 (nearly R73,000) while claiming to have been sent by Mnangagwa to mobilise and collect money from individuals for land allocation.
There have also been several cases of people impersonating Mnangagwa’s son to defraud people out of thousands of dollars.