Mtetwa complains to Chihuri over abuse of police arresting powers

Prominent human rights lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa has written to the Police Commissioner-General, Augustine Chihuri, complaining over the alleged abuse of police arresting powers.

Source: Mtetwa complains to Chihuri over abuse of police arresting powers – NewsDay Zimbabwe November 16, 2016


This followed the arrest of her client, who had approached the police to lodge a complaint.

Mtetwa said officers at Borrowdale Police Station refused to record complaints from her client, Tim Trombas, who was allegedly being victimised by a well-known businessman, Simon Rudland.

She alleged Trombas approached the police station on three different occasions to report threats from Rudland, but the police locked him up over false charges instead.

In her letter to Chihuri, Mtetwa said the police had grossly abused their powers when arresting Trombas on May 14 this year.

“For some time, prior to the arrest, Trombas was bombarded with crude, insulting and threatening messages from Rudland in contravention of the Posts and Telecommunications Act,” the letter read.

Trombas appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Court last Monday facing allegations of stealing from Rudland.

Mtetwa said the charges were false, but the police were allegedly being influenced by a bitter Rudland, who was divorcing his wife, Leigh, who was now believed to be Trombas’ girlfriend.

“Rudland had been unlawfully intercepting his estranged wife’s telephone and email communication with Trombas,” she said. “On May 14, 2016, senior police officers, including one Runganga from Law and Order, military counter intelligence officers, drug squad and CIO (Central Intelligence Organisation) officers adding up to 27 people attended Mrs Rudland’s home,” she said.

“The police falsely sought entry on the basis that it was a follow-up visit in connection with criminal charges that had been laid by Mrs Rudland against her estranged husband, Rudland and when she refused to open the gate, Mbizvo Nyathi (a top CIO agent) phoned Rudland asking how to raid the house, a clear indication that the police were acting on the instruction of Rudland.”

Mtetwa further said the group forcibly lifted the gate off its rails to gain entry and Runganga presented a search warrant for weapons and drugs. She said no such drugs or weapons were found, but Rudland’s wife and Trombas were instructed to go to Harare Central Police Station for the signing of paperwork.

“At Law and Order, Chrispen Makedenge asked Mrs Rudland why she was sleeping with Trombas, while married to Rudland. Following unorthodox interviews, the drug squad returned to the house with cameras and videos and collected all the vitamin tablets in the house,” Mtetwa said.

“Mrs Rudland and Trombas were detained and Rudland advised her to turn into a State witness if she wanted to be released.”

Mtetwa said the conduct of the police had made the public lose confidence in the law enforcement agents.

Police spokesperson, Chief Superintendent Paul Nyathi, could not confirm receiving the letter, saying he was not in the office, as he is studying, while his boss, Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba, was not reachable.