BULAWAYO – Notorious former small-time cricketer Dumisani Mankunzini, who has been behind bars for nearly three months now, has once again been denied bail and hauled back to cells on three charges of fraud.

He appeared before the Bulawayo Magistrate Courts last Wednesday and was further remanded in custody to sometime in early February when proper trial is expected to begin.

The former Matabeleland Tuskers fringe player is unrepresented as two lawyer friends seem to have abandoned him due to the repeated offences as well as unpaid fees. An uncle of his, a high-profile political figure, has of late also not been forthcoming with paying for legal representation apparently because of frustration with the ex-spin bowler.

Mankunzini, in his early 30s, has a raft of swindle allegations against him in Zimbabwe and South Africa over a period of more than five years.

On nearly all occasions, the trail of victims – won over by Mankunzini’s sweet tongue and deceitful self-presentation as a distinguished former Zimbabwe national team player – didn’t record credible evidence to nail the daring con-artist.

But Mankunzini finally landed in hot soup late last year after he preyed on a guest house and two health practitioners, who provided incriminating evidence leading to the arrest on 4 November.

Mankunzini fled from Serenity Lodge in Bulawayo last June without settling his bill after putting up at the suburban establishment in Hillside for four days.

He then swindled Dennis Muringisi, a city pharmacist, out of US$300 after promising to facilitate employment for him at the head offices of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) in Harare.

Then posing as a Member of Parliament, Mankunzini is said to have tricked nurse aide Mercy Ndlovu into paying him US$435 so that he could expedite her search for work in the United Kingdom.

His crookedness knowing no boundaries, Mankunzini would later made request for a further payment of US$600 from Ndlovu, which arose deep suspicion in the desperate and increasingly apprehensive young woman.

She reported the matter to the police and a trap was set up, using US$300, bringing to a halt the tricks of an incorrigible offender.  


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