Daniel Nemukuyu Senior Court Reporter
Police have objected to a request by fugitive Lebanese businessman Jamal Ahmed to compel detectives to disclose their investigation plan in an assortment of criminal allegations against the foreigner.
Ahmed is being accused of defrauding First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe of $1,3 million, among several other criminal charges.
Opposing an application by Ahmed to have the police joined as respondents in a civil case he seeks to evict police guards from his three houses in Harare, Government lawyers accused the businessman’s lawyer, Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, of seeking to interfere with investigations and to destroy evidence against her client.
Ms Mtetwa, on behalf of her client, wrongly took First Lady Dr Grace Mugabe and her son, Mr Russel Goreraza, to the High Court seeking their eviction from No. 409 Harare Drive, No. 18 Cambridge Road, Avondale and No. 75 King George Road, Avondale, properties.
A High Court order was obtained against Dr Mugabe, Mr Goreraza and a police Superintendent Kennedy Fero.
It later turned out that the police were guarding the properties as part of their investigations into Ahmed’s criminal allegations and that the First Lady and her son had nothing to do with it.
Ms Mtetwa has now shifted her attention to the police and filed an application to have Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri, Assistant Commissioner Thulani Ncube and Detective Superintendent Nyambo Viera cited as respondents.
On behalf of the three senior officers, Deputy Director Legal Services in the police force Assistant Commissioner Takawira Nzombe applied for permission to be able to file the police’s opposing papers out of time.
He told the court that the papers reached them late and they failed to meet the time frames to file opposing papers to the application for joinder in time.
Detective Supt Viera, in an opposing affidavit attached to the application for condonation, argued that Ms Mtetwa was seeking to interfere with investigations.
“Ms Mtetwa is surreptitiously hoping to get information, which concern police investigations by seeking the joinder of the law enforcement agent in her civil action,” he said.
“I aver that joining the police to the civil action will seriously prejudice police investigations, as information which is going to be used against the first applicant (Ahmed) will be availed to him and that would afford him an opportunity to conceal or destroy evidence, thereby defeating police efforts.”
Detective Supt Viera challenged Ahmed to avail himself and face justice.
He dismissed as false claims by Ahmed and his lawyers that the First Lady was behind the occupation and protection of the fugitive businessman’s property by the police.
“I reiterate that first applicant, who is a peregrinus, is a fugitive who should avail himself so that he can have his day in court,” said Detective Supt Vera.
“The insinuation that the police are acting in concert with the second and third respondents in the main matter (Dr Mugabe and Mr Goreraza) is ludicrous and meritless.
“The police are carrying out their mandate by investigating cases in which the second respondent (Dr Mugabe) is a complainant.”
Detective Supt Viera accused Ms Mtetwa, who is an officer of the court, of assisting her fugitive client to play hide and seek with the police.
He said he was investigating Ahmed on allegations which include fraud, theft, money laundering, contravention of the Exchange Control Act, contravention of the Immigration Act, as well as his dealings in diamonds.