GOVERNMENT has no grounds on which to demand from Britain the extradition of Zanu PF directors who allegedly fled the country following the launch of a probe into the ruling party’s companies. <
The Joshi brothers, now believed to be in the United Kingdom, this week released a statement pleading their innocence of any wrongdoing.
Legal Affairs minister Patrick Chinamasa said earlier this month that the Zanu PF directors would be extradited.
The Joshis’ lawyer Jonathan Samkange yesterday said there were no firm grounds on which they could be extradited.
“Firstly, the manner in which it is done, whereby a lot of noise is made before investigations are done, is futile. It leaves the state or even the police with insufficient grounds on which to seek extradition of the accused persons,” said Samkange.
“Secondly, as things stand there won’t be any cooperation from countries such as the UK in the bid to extradite the individuals. Zimbabwe is still considered a rogue state.”
Responding to threats by government earlier this month that all those who committed crimes and had fled the country would be arrested, the Joshi brothers, Jayant and Manharlal, who are directors of Zanu PF-owned Zidco Holdings, said they had not had any allegations levelled against them.
“We issue this statement in order to refute any allegations of corruption or fraud,” they said.
“Various statements in the press have inferred that we have been involved in various corrupt and dishonest activities either through Zidco Holdings or in our personal capacities.
“We vehemently deny any involvement in such activities and are prepared to co-operate with the authorities in order to prove our innocence,” they said through their lawyers.
The Joshi brothers reiterated the position made by other Zimbabweans such as NMB directors who fled the country that they will only return when assured of their safety.
“We intend to return home in the near future when we are confident that our personal safety is not under threat. We fully support the anti-corruption drive initiated by government and condemn any activity that does not foster the growth and prosperity of the economy of Zimbabwe.”
President Mugabe promulgated the Presidential Powers (Amendment) (Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act) regulations in February, which has a provision for the detention of a suspected person for up to a month without appearing in court.
Zanu PF central committee member and businessman James Makamba is still in custody more than two months after he was arrested on charges of externalising foreign currency.