THE case involving the impounded vehicle that MDC-T leader Morgan Tsvangirai used in his campaign ahead of the June 2008 presidential election run off has taken a new twist after police this week indicated that they are going to summon and question Jameson Timba, the Deputy Minister of Information and Publicity, over the matter.
The twist in the case comes amidst reports that police in Lupane have wrecked the vehicle.
Police had initially indicated that they wanted to charge the owner of the vehicle who had donated it to Tsvangirai for use during the election campaign.
The police allege that South African businessman, Adriaan Espag, the owner of the bulletproofed BMW X5 sports utility vehicle, flouted the Customs Act and the countryâ€™s Immigration laws when he allowed an unauthorised person to use the vehicle in the country.
The vehicle is still impounded at Lupane police station after it was forcibly seized from Tsvangirai in early June last year.
Job Sibanda, the lawyer representing the MDC-T in the matter, confirmed this week that police now want to question Timba over the matter.
â€œI had a meeting with the police last week and they indicated that they have gone through the papers pertaining to the car,â€ said Sibanda. â€œThey have established that Espag (the owner of the vehicle) had authorised Timba to be in charge of the vehicle in his absence and in that instance Timba was the only person at law authorised to use the vehicle in the country,â€ said.
However, it emerged that the matter has now been referred to President Robert Mugabe as the MDC-T felt that the case related to the election period which is already covered under the GPA.
Sibanda said the police said they want to question Timba on circumstances that led to Tsvangiraiâ€™s driver using the vehicle.
â€œTimba has been informed of the charges police have levelled against him. I believe the matter is being addressed elsewhere in government. But the police have indicated that they are proceeding with the case,â€ Sibanda said.
Over allegations that the police have wrecked the luxury vehicle, Sibanda said he enquired from the police over the allegations and the police denied ever using the vehicle.
BY LOUGHTY DUBE