Rutendo Makuti also known as ‘Ruru’ or Mwanasikana wekwenyu is an award-winning Zimbabwean radio personality. She works as a presenter and producer for Radio Zimbabwe. In November 2021 she was arrested and charged for extorting Tapiwa Freddy with whom she had an affair with.
Rutendo Makuti joined Radio Zimbabwe in 2013 on attachment and impressed her superiors who would not let her go after her internship, but made her a part-time presenter. She presented the popular programme Ruoko Runopa (which means a giving hand) on Sundays. Many disadvantaged people were helped through the programme. Help received through the programme ranged from school fees to clearance of hospital bills.
From January 1-2 2017, Makuti presented non-stop for 32 hours as she sought to raise US$16 000 for two-year-old Evelyn Nyakutombwa who was supposed to go to India for an operation. The marathon broadcast was successful and the required amount was raised by the end of the programme.
In 2019, she raised more than US $70,000 after she broadcasted for almost 18 hours.
On Sunday 31 January 2021, she also had a 12-hour marathon shift which broadcast from 8 am to 8 pm soliciting RTGS 1.2 million for Thandeka Victoria Pilime who was supposed to go for heart surgery in India. Makuti managed to raise RTGS 1.3 million before day end. Before she became a full-time presenter in November 2015, Ruoko Runopa was just a 15 minute pre-recorded program with no follow-ups but Makuti made it a live program when she took it over.
She also presented Tipeiwo Mukana which focuses on the physically challenged and Usandikanganwe which focuses on people seeking their relatives and friends. Rutendo Makuti travelled Zimbabwe for her programme Nhasi Tirikwenyu, which focused on developmental projects which are being undertaken by rural districts and various communities.
Affair With Tapiwa Freddy & Arrest
Makuti was arrested in November 2021 on charges of extorting popular Harare preacher Tapiwa Freddy with whom she had a relationship.
She appeared at the Harare Magistrate Court on 12 November 2021 before Magistrate Sheunesu Matova who remanded her to December 9 for routine remand.
Makuti who was represented by Tinashe Mbala was released on $5 000 bail and ordered not to interfere with state witnesses.
Makuti and Freddy had a love affair and while they were together, she allegedly started threatening him that if he did not meet her financial and material demands, she would expose the affair to the public.
In August 2021, Freddy was summoned by Chief Chikwaka to his homestead, but after he was tipped off that there might be some police officers who wanted to extort money from him he then left without entering the chiefly homestead.
He made a U-turn and sought to return to Harare but was stopped by some police officers who were manning a roadblock and was forced to get back to the chief’s homestead.
The chief allegedly accused him of raping Makuti and of sleeping with her before a year had lapsed since the death of her husband, violating traditional norms.
Freddy promised to pay US$15 000. In addition, the chief ordered him to pay three goats and Freddy promised to return at a later date with the money and the goats.
The chief allegedly made Freddy pastor sign an agreement which was authored by an Inspector Jaji. Upon their return to Harare, Makuti told Freddy to hand over the US$15000 to her personally since she is the one who was aggrieved.
He handed over a Mercedes Benz E250 valued at US$15 000. It is alleged after some days, Makuti started threatening Freddy again, saying his secretary Nollen Mundawaro had insulted her so she wanted a compensation of US$20 000.
On 11 November 2021, Makuti’s brother demanded that he pays up the US$20 000 and that he signs an acknowledgement that he had raped her, failure which would result in him exposing their affair.
Through the Misodzi ya Hannah program, Rutendo Makuti won 2 Merck Foundation Media Recognition Awards in 2019 and 2020.
Merck Foundation focuses on childless people and it runs under the theme “Merck more than a mother” in partnership with the first ladies of Zimbabwe, Namibia, and Malawi.
- Fidelis Manyange, Presenter with the disadvantaged at heart, The Patriot, Published: February 9, 2017, Retrieved: November 13, 2021
- Tafadzwa Mwanengureni, Radio Presenter Who Goes Beyond Core Responsibilities Of Her Work, Transcontinental Times, Published: February 9, 2021, Retrieved: November 13, 2021
- Prophet T Freddy’s love affair with radio DJ exposed in court, The Herald, Published: November 11, 2021, Retrieved: November 13, 2021
- DESMOND CHINGARANDE, ZBC presenter arrested for extorting popular Harare ‘preacher’ T Freddy, NewsDay, Published: November 12, 2021, Retrieved: November 13, 2021