JAMES Makamba, a Zanu PF central committee member and businessman who has been in police custody since February 9, has complained to the High Court of “heavy handed” and “overzealous” treatment
by the police.
One of Makamba’s lawyers, Godfrey Mamvura, in papers brought before High Court Judge Tedias Karwi yesterday, said his client “has numerous complaints” against the police.
“They have raided accused’s properties while armed and in unnecessarily large numbers at times exceeding 50,” the lawyer said.
“They were armed to the teeth as if accused holds an army of his own. The police officers raided accused’s premises in unbelievably large numbers and literally brought business to a standstill despite the fact that he voluntarily handed himself to the police.”
The lawyer said police maintained a heavy presence at Makamba’s premises when he was in their custody.
“Most of the time in police custody he was surrounded by vicious-looking, eight heavily armed police officers as if he is a dangerous criminal who needed to be guarded,” Mamvura said.
The lawyer said Makamba was shuttled from one police station to another for undisclosed reasons thereby making communication with his legal advisors difficult.
“He was detained at Goromonzi Police station, Rhodesville Police Station, Tomlinson Depot and at Beatrice Police Station overnight where mosquitoes feasted on him. At one time he was also detained at Braeside Police station.”
The lawyer complained that Makamba’s arrest was also not based on reasonable suspicion that he had committed a crime.
“It was effected in order to facilitate investigations, thereby becoming a fishing expedition,” said Mamvura.
There were also complaints that the police had deliberately waited for the Presidential Amendment to come into effect before bringing Makamba to court in order to take away the court’s power to admit him to bail.
“The said statute may conveniently be termed ‘the James Makamba S1’. This is a gross violation of accused’s constitutional right to his liberty.”