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Female journalist files police report after threats by Chivayo

Scribe reveals frustrations as police drag investigations into the attack

HARARE – Female journalist Rutendo Maraire has filed a police report against controversial businessman Wicknell Chivayo whom she accuses of cyberbullying and sexual harassment following threatens issued when the scribe quizzed him about expensive vehicles he had generously lavished on musicians.

Maraire is an intern employed by local online publication Sources Media.

Leaked WhatsApp conversations revealed offensive messages sent to the journalist by Chivayo.

Maraire was conducting a follow-up investigation on whether the high-end vehicles purchased by the Zanu PF apologist had been properly cleared through duty payment by relevant authorities.

Chivayo felt offended by the inquiry, accusing Maraire of authoring an article before which he said contained false claims of his links to President Emmerson Mnangagwa and businessman Kuda Tagwirei.

He hurled insults at the scribe, telling her she was “a very stupid person”.

The showy businessman also did not miss the opportunity to boast about his wealth whose sources remain opaque.

“I’m not as poor as you,” he said.

“I will make your life miserable, I swear. This will be a no holds barred legal battle.”

Recognizing the severity of the situation, Maraire reported the incident last year on November 23 at the Harare Central Police Station under IR 111755.

Denford Muchandibaya, a detective, was assigned to investigate the matter.

Maraire’s pursuit for justice seems to be running into hurdles after her case was referred to the police general headquarters under CID CCD NR 0DR 162/11/23.

The investigating officer continues to make excuses for the slow progress of the matter.

Maraire, a trainee journalist, is apprehensive over the experience of being verbally abused by man with links to the country’s ruling elite.

“The experience has taken a toll on my enthusiasm and positivity for reporting to the extent that I am contemplating a shift to another field,” she says.

“What intensifies my apprehension is that I never authored any story as Mr. Chivhayo claims, and his inclination to resort to sexual harassment and threats is utterly inappropriate and unjust.”

Reached for comment, Chivayo was adamant about his actions.

“Yes, I will make her life miserable with legal battles and will attach her panties and her bras to her house.

“She is very stupid; she wrote an article stating that I am Kuda Tagwirei’s ally, and is importing vehicles duty free,” he said.

“Then I called her and said why didn’t you go to Zimra and check, the number plates of vehicles can easily be seen on social media.

“Go to Zimra and ask them to check for you before you write an article that I’m bringing in vehicles duty free.

“Then you ask ‘what is your association with Kuda Tagwirei’.

“Why are you dragging him and saying I am using his power and we are a Mnangagwa ally, how am I (president Emmerson) Mnangagwa’s ally, how am I Kuda Tagwirei’s ally.

“It was a story that was unfounded. Then I said will make your life miserable with court battles.

“I told my lawyers they were about to file an application then she dropped the matter and removed the article from the website, and saw the article was no longer there and that was that.”

Maraire’s employer, Sources Media, issued a statement exonerating her for writing the article that Chivayo accused her of writing.

The news platform condemned Chivayo’s actions and also expressed concern over the half-hearted police’s handling of the case.

“The recent incident involving Mr Wicknell Chivhayo issuing threats to one of our female reporters is not only unwarranted but constitutes a serious offence that demands a thorough investigation.

“Mr. Chivhayo attempts to justify his actions as a response to what he perceives as a misrepresentation of facts in a story.

“However, resorting to threats and sexual harassment is an unacceptable means of addressing concerns.

“It is important to note that the story in question was neither authored by the targeted journalist nor was it fabricated; it was substantiated with facts and supported by audio evidence from reliable sources.

“Rather than resorting to intimidation, Mr Chivhayo could have pursued appropriate channels, such as the VMCZ, to address his grievances.

“We staunchly refuse to allow such bullying tactics to compromise the integrity of our profession.

“We call upon the police to fulfil their duty and ensure that this case is thoroughly investigated and brought before a court of law,” further read parts of the Sources Media statement.

National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed that Maraire had filed charges against Chivayo and that investigations were still ongoing.

“Yes, Rutendo Maraire made a report to the police in November 2023.

“The case is still under investigation and the police is waiting for information from relevant government institutions such as Zimbabwe Revenue Authority and telecommunications service providers so that investigations can proceed leading to the docket being submitted to the courts,” said Nyathi.

ZimLive

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