A Bulawayo man, who allegedly swindled a Catholic priest of USD 25,000 has gone on the run. The police have launched a manhunt for him.

Rodwell Kudzanai Chikadza, believed to be in South Africa at the moment, skipped bail when his trial was supposed to resume two weeks ago. A warrant of arrest has been issued against him.

Allegations against Chikadza are that between July 2010 and April 14, 2011 he misrepresented to Fr Claudius Luphahla that the police, prosecutors, magistrates, assessors, clerk of court, judge and journalists wanted money so that he could not be incarcerated for trying to get a licence fraudulently.

Chikadza constantly demanded money from the priest until it amounted to USD 25,000. Fr Luphahla  realised that he was being duped and reported the matter to the police leading to Chikadza’s arrest. Only USD 6,500 was recovered.

Chikadza had pleaded not guilty arguing that the priest also participated in the commitment of the offence. He wanted the Catholic priest to be charged with incitement and conspiracy to commit crime as the latter was the one who enticed Chikadza to commit the crime.

Chikadza made the application through his lawyer, Shepherd Chamunorwa of Calderwood, Bryce and Hendrie Legal Practitioners.