Atwell Seremani is a former Zimbabwe National Army (ZNA) colonel. In May 2021 he appeared in court charged with extortion after he allegedly defrauded South African investor cash in a work permit deal.
On 5 May 2021, Seremani appeared in court together with Nation Machaya for allegedly defrauding South African investor cash in a work permit deal. The duo appeared before Harare Magistrate Dennis Mangosi who remanded them in custody awaiting bail ruling on 6 May 2021.
The court heard that sometime in 2020, the complainant was tasked to apply for work permits by the directors of a foreign-owned company at the Department of Immigration for foreign employees. The complainant applied for the permits but upon making follow-ups on the progress of his application he was informed that the file was missing.
The complainant then received a phone call from Atwell Seremani who said he was responsible for processing the work permits and should come through him if he wanted to acquire the papers.
Seremani allegedly invited the complainant to his home and told him that he should pay US$4 000 to process the work permits.
Seremani allegedly told the complainant to pay US$2 500 upfront and the balance on collection of the work permits.
The complainant allegedly paid US$2 500 upfront. He later realised he was being extorted after suspecting Seremani could have been responsible for the disappearance of the files at the immigration offices.
On May 3, 2021, Seremani called the complainant and informed him that the work permits were ready and that he should bring US$1 800 since he had taken long to collect them.
The complainant allegedly told his superiors who advised him to report the police. On May 4, Seremani allegedly called the complainant directing him to his residence.
On that same day, a team of police officers set a trap, and upon arrival at Seremani’s residence, he told the complainant he was not at home.
After a while, Machaya came out and told the complainant that he had been sent by Seremani to collect the money and hand over the permits.
The complainant handed over the trap money in the presence of police officers. Machaya was subsequently arrested by the police detectives who were in the vehicle disguised as the company employees. Seremani was arrested later upon arrival at his home.
- Mary Taruvinga, Ex-Army Boss In Trouble Over Work Permits Extortion, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: May 6, 2021, Retrieved: May 6, 2021