HARARE– Embattled controversial Kwekwe businessman Shepherd Tundiya has come under the spotlight for allegedly masquerading as a Central Intelligence Organisation (CIO) operative and an emissary from President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s office during the time when he was allegedly duping a top Zimbabwean businessman.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Previledges Committee this week, prominent business tycoon James Ross Goddard said that when Tundiya was introduced to him, he was being reffered to as a top CIO operative from the Office of the President and Cabinet. Goddard, who also revealed that Tundiya was using offices at State House in an apparent bid to convince the businessman that he was, indeed, a member of the dreaded CIO, seems to be now dithering and is no longer convinced that Tundiya is, in fact, a CIO operative.
“I was never able to ascertain that (Tundiya is indeed from the OPC) and, in fact, even this morning I was saying to Douglas (Mafukidze) ‘Is Shepherd from the Office of the President and Cabinet?’ and Douglas responded to me and he said, ‘when we met him I was introduced that this is Shepherd Tundiya from the office of the president and cabinet, and he (Tundiya) never denied that”, Goddard said.
But, opening up before the same parly committee this week, Tundiya backtracked, saying he has never been a member of the CIO nor an emissary from Mnangagwa’s office.
“Let me be clear on this one, I am not an agent of the state. Neither am I from the President’s Office nor a member of any of the uniformed forces”, he said.
Tundiya, who runs a transport management company called Philcool in Kwekwe, is being nailed alongside Zanu PF Gokwe Kabuyuni MP Leonard Chikomba for being directly involved in requesting for a $400 000 bribe from Goddard in the pretext that they were going to help the latter’s JRG (Pvt) Ltd to secure a coal-mining contract at Hwange Colliery.
This is also not the first time that Tundiya’s name has been thrown around in the Hwange Colliery saga. He reportedly put former State Residents Director Douglas Tapfuma under probe amid reports that he was using the latter’s office to engage in his businesses and convince unsuspecting businesspeople that he was, indeed, a staffer from the OPC.