Zimdancehall star a ‘free man’ after police probe over links with robbery suspects

Zimdancehall musician Freeman has denied allegations of conspiring to commit armed robbery in Harare. 

Freeman, born Energy Chizanga, was taken by the CID Homicide for questioning for criminal allegations and association with armed robbery suspects. 

He was later freed.

The allegations arose after the police fatally shot one of his close associates, Godknows Machingura who was in the company of five other assailants. 

Machingura and Jabulani Ngobeni were shot dead during a shoot-out incident in Arcadia, Harare, by the police, while Ndiafhi Makhado, Andrew Masubelele, Paul Zhou and Emmanuel Makamo were arrested for conspiracy to commit armed robbery in Kwekwe on December 19, 2023.

In his Warned and Cautioned statement seen by CITE, Freeman said he never conspired with Machingura or any other armed robber to commit the alleged crimes.

“I vehemently deny the allegations in toto and will put the state to the strictest of proof to each and every allegation thereof. I never entered into any agreement with the said Machingura, Muzenge or any other person for the commission of a crime of for the intended purpose of assisting the commission any crime (armed robbery in this case),” the statement read. 

“I never conspired with anyone to commit armed robbery as alleged. I never met with or spoke to Godfrey Machingura or Paul Ernest Muzenge on 25 November 2023 nor supply them with the residential address of one Paul Chimbodza as alleged or at all. For the record I do not even know the said Paul Chimbodza, have never met with him and have never visited his house. I do not even know where he stays and no one gave me his address. I also never met and do not know Paul Ernest Muzenge. I challenge the said Muzenge to prove or produce evidence of such a meeting between himself, Machingura and myself on 25 November 2023 as alleged.”

Freeman highlighted in his statement that his interaction with Machingura started in 2017, through his management team, after Machingura had expressed interest in promoting his music.

“In brief, I wish to further state that I started interacting with Machingura back in 2017 when my management team was contacted by Machingura inviting me to perform at a show he was organising in Durban. Machingura presented himself to my management as a music promoter and someone who really liked my music,” he said.

“My management entered into an agreement with him and Machingura paid for the whole show, including our air tickets to and from Durban (inclusive of all expenses, food and accommodation). our first show together was a huge success such that he invited me to another show in Durban in 2018. Ever since that time we grew to be friends since I was very appreciative of the support he extended

to me as a musician and many other musicians at a very difficult time.”

He said around 2021, Machingura started withdrawing himself from him and would not share much information about his movement and travels to Zimbabwe.

“Sometimes I would phone him when I got to Joburg asking if he was in town only for him to tell me that he was in Zimbabwe. I also never knew about his alleged associates and association with armed robbers,” he said.

“For the record, I am a musician and a family men who has worked hard to build my brand to where it is. I would never willingly, intentionally and knowingly associate with any criminal elements because this will definitely affect my family, music, brand and professional career.”

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