Ex Zimbabwe cricketer courts xenophobic attacks after theft escapade

DESCRIBED by those who have fallen for his sweet tongue as a “smooth operator,” Dumisani Mankunzini is facing criminal charges over cases of alleged fraud and unpaid debts.

The former Zimbabwean cricketer is accused of swindling money from individuals in both South Africa and Zimbabwe after first using his appealing personality to gain their trust.

Mankunzini has also courted chilling xenophobic threats from one Raymond Dube, who claimed on Facebook that the Zimbabwean fleeced his cousin out of an undisclosed amount of money.

Once one of the brightest prospects in the country, Mankunzini played nine matches for Matabeleland Tuskers B in 2010 and 2011.

The 29-year-old former batsman and spin bowler, who worked as an analyst for an Asian television network during Pakistan’s tour of South Africa early this year and has previously been accused of posing as an ex-Zimbabwe national team player, has not been forthcoming to comment on the raft of allegations leveled against him.

“When Pakistan came to Cape Town he said to me that he could give me a coaching certificate if I paid him R1 500,” Hilton Beremauro, a Zimbabwean cricket player based in South Africa told this publication.

“I gave him the money and I never got any certificate from him. He then blocked me on WhatsApp and Facebook, and wasn’t taking my calls. He was lying to me that he stays in the UK.”

A South African woman, Nomazulu Qhawekazi Dube, says she lost R200 000 to Mankunzini after she had invested in his development event, the Dumisani Mankunzini Cricket Initiative (DMCI). She has since lodged a police report.

Zim Morning Post has also been furnished with a WhatsApp exchange which took place in August this year between Mankunzini and another South African woman who had acted as guarantor when the Bulawayo-born ex-cricketer took a loan from a moneylender.

She confronted Mankunzini after he had failed to pay back the money.

“What’s going on ngemali yabantu? Why udelela kanje velele? (What’s going on with the guy’s money? Why do you behave in this manner?)?”

To which Mankunzini responded: “Good morning Sisiwami (my sister). I will pay u (sic) by Monday latest sorry for the inconvenience.”

Dube retorted, accusing Mnkunzini of lying, further telling him that the interest on his loan was going up all the time.

“Ma uthi sorry uchazani why ungabanga honest from the start than to lie to me? (What do you mean ‘sorry?’ You should have just told me the truth instead of lying to me.”

The Monday came and went. Mankunzini, who then started ignoring the woman’s follow-up messages, hasn’t paid back a single cent.

Mankunzini, who is described by those who have fallen for his sweet tongue as a “smooth operator,” has also courted chilling xenophobic threats from one Raymond Dube, who claimed on Facebook that the Zimbabwean fleeced his cousin out of an undisclosed amount of money.

He wrote: “…we can’t allow this (sic) foreigners to keep on ripping us (sic) apart just like that. That boy must be killed like a dog. He is so evil.”

Mankunzini, who describes himself as being born-again, is a keen follower of Bulawayo prophet Blessing Chiza, who he calls his “father.”