BULAWAYO – The net seems to be closing in on notorious former small-time cricketer Dumisani Mankunzini after the serial fraudster was on Thursday remanded in custody to 18 November by a Bulawayo court on a raft of charges.

Mankunzini, in his early 30s, played club cricket in Bulawayo and featured in a handful of matches for the second team of provincial team Matabeleland Tuskers before claiming in 2013 that he was ending his very modest career because of an injury.

For a prolonged time he, however, deceptively posed as a distinguished and affluent former Zimbabwe national team player, an effective method he used to swindle the unsuspecting of varying amounts of cash and other forms of advance payments mainly in South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Mankunzini has been in and out of trouble for his felonies, with his desperate victims in hot pursuit. But in most if not all cases, the smooth-talking Mankunzini has hardly left any whiff of credible evidence in his shadowy operations, which has constantly seen him being released from police custody when it appeared his luck had finally run out.

However since last December, Mankunzini seemed to be living on borrowed time, constantly looking over his shoulder, despite frequently featuring as a presenter on a recently launched Bulawayo-based radio station.

Of no fixed aboard since his hurried return to Zimbabwe from South Africa, where angry and aggrieved victims were on his case, Mankunzini has been living in lodgings in the country’s second largest city.

It is during one of those retreats “home” when he was arrested last week, after he allegedly tried to book a room at Bulawayo Rainbow Hotel using fake US dollar bank notes.

A picture that has circulated shows Mankunzini in handcuffs, holding the counterfeit cash and signing an affidavit.

While it is the latest incident that has led to his arrest, it is not the charge that Mankunzini is facing.

On Thursday, Bulawayo magistrate Busani Sibanda remanded Mankunzini in custody on five accounts of fraud, including defrauding two medical aid companies.


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