MASVINGO – A suspected money changer who operates from Hofmeyer Street near OK Supermarket in Masvingo has paid $500 fine after he was arrested for unnecessary movement during Covid-19 lockdown.
Alphons Machakata (32) of Zimre Park, Masvingo was arrested on May 6, 2020.
ZRP Masvingo spokesperson, Chief Inspector Charity Mazula confirmed the arrest and said that this is the second time that he has been arrested and paid fine for the same offence.
The Mirror got a barrage of attacks on social media when it exposed the invasion of the street by money changers. Some of the money changers are untouchable to the Police. Machakata was cited in the story as one of the suspected money changers who is permanently parked in Hofmeyer Street as Police chases away everyone else.
The Mirror has many pictures of Machakata’s black Mercedes parked in the middle of the street with hordes of people doing transactions while the car obstructs traffic.
Scores of people posting on the social media said The Mirror should leave the money changers to do their illegal activities.
Responding to the attacks on social media, a Mirror senior editor said there is no newspaper worth its salt that can look away while crime is being committed right under its nose.
Economists have blamed money changers for the free fall of the Zimbabwe dollar and therefore causing suffering of the people. Government last week froze more than 100 EcoCash agent lines and it is suspected that more than $39m of the money that the vendors are trading in is not real money but overdrafts.
“It is our duty to expose crime and corruption and we shall continue to carry out our duty without fear or favour regardless of who is involved,” said the senior editor.