Police bosses under fire over war vets detention

LAWYERS representing five war veterans’ leaders facing allegations of undermining President Robert Mugabe’s authority yesterday called for the arrest of two senior Harare police officers over their failure to respond to court orders served on them when the accused first appeared in court.

Source: Police bosses under fire over war vets detention – NewsDay Zimbabwe September 14, 2016

BY MARY TARUVINGA

The accused, who include war veterans’ political commissar Francis Nhando, secretary-­general Victor Matemadanda, Harare deputy chairperson Hoyini Samuel Bhila, vice-chairman Headman Moyo and spokesperson Douglas Mahiya, claimed they were verbally assaulted by Assistant Commissioner Thulani Ncube of CID Law and Order during their arrest.

They said Officer Commanding Harare Central district Chief Superintendent Newbert Saunyama and former CID Law and Order boss Crispen Makedenge were in contempt of a court order for failing to investigate the complaint.

Provincial magistrate Vakai Chikwekwe had then ordered the State to give a report over the alleged verbal insults.

The war veterans’ lawyer, Harrison Nkomo, claimed Ncube insulted Mahiya, saying he was confused and disorderly to the extent that the disorderliness had extended to his children.

The lawyer claimed Ncube said the bedroom of Mahiya’s children was filthy and unsuitable for human habitation.

It emerged that Saunyama and Makedenge did not respond to the order.

Instead, the new CID Law and Order boss, Ncube, was present, but the defence counsel, led by Beatrice Mtetwa, could not have him in the witness stand.

“This is not an inquiry. A court order was given. It has been a month now since the report was due and the officer commanding Harare province is in contempt. If it was the accused who said I cannot come to court he could have been issued with a warrant of arrest, so the officer should be sentenced for defying a court order,” she fumed.

“Senior law officers are not above the law and upon failure to honour the court they should also meet the consequences.”

Mtetwa said if the State continued distancing itself from the order, Mahiya should be removed from remand as it would prove that he was unlawfully before the court.

Prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema laid blame on Makedenge, saying he wrote to him, but nothing had been done to date.

“I instructed him (Makedenge) to have those investigations done and we are still waiting for the response. Also the order was given directly to the officer commanding Harare, so it has nothing to do with prosecution and again there was no time frame given to respond to that order,” he said.

Presiding magistrate Bianca Makwande concurred with the defence and told the top cops to comply with the court order.
Kasema is expected to respond to the accused’s application against remand today.

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