In a letter dated September 27 to officer commanding CID Fraud in Harare, Assistant Commissioner Samson Mangoma, the Timbas’ lawyers — Atherstone & Cook — accused the officers who investigated the case of having a personal interest in it.
The lawyers asked Mangoma to ensure that justice and the rule of law is observed by the police towards their clients’ case.
Timba, jointly charged with Stevenson, chief executive of Freshco Resources, appeared at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts on Tuesday facing allegations of fraudulently attempting to take over a mining company, Glencairn. They were remanded out of custody to October 12 on US$500 bail each.
Their lawyers said police conduct in the case showed that they had personal interests, considering that the Attorney-General (AG)’s Office, through Chief Law Officer Chris Mutangadura, had declined to prosecute the Timbas, saying the matter was more civil than criminal.
“Notwithstanding this (declining to prosecute) our clients have been told that the police were stopping at nothing in prosecuting our client and true to their vows on Friday 24th September 2010, the police led by Mr Chikupa visited our client’s home at around 4.30am,” read the lawyers’ letter.
“Our clients fortunately were not at their respective home, they did not leave our clients’ home and stopped their children from going to school on that day. At 11am they forced their entry by breaking the gate and searched every corner of the house without a search warrant and their conduct traumatised our clients’ family.”
The lawyers said the matter was civil as alluded to by the AG’s office and the subsequent decision by Jameson Rushwaya to file a civil court application via case number 6034/10 and another one under case number 6656/10 in which he is challenging the “removal” of Annie Rushwaya as director of the mine, among other things.
“The manner in which the matter has been handled is a clear indication of the personal interest of some police officers in this matter,” the letter said.
The lawyers said they were seeking justice from Mangoma because their clients’ constitutional rights had been infringed by the police.
They said they were informed, a month ago, that a complaint of fraud was filed against his clients by Jameson Rushwaya, but this was preceded by their own complaint.
“What was most surprising to our client was the fact that there was more attention by the police on the complaint filed by Rushwaya. Lip service was paid to our clients’ complaint,” said the letter.
The lawyers said during investigations there was no doubt, in their clients’ minds, that there was “unnecessary favouritism towards one Jameson Rushwaya despite the fact that his allegations against our clients were clearly unfounded”.
“For instance, Jameson claims to have purchased Tolrose which owns the mine and yet the affidavits from the sellers that were produced of record clearly show the contrary,” the lawyers argued.
Mutangadura, in declining to prosecute, said Patterson Timba’s company had majority shareholding in the disputed mining company according to an allotment of shares document.
Efforts to get comment from police spokesperson Wayne Bvudzijena yesterday were fruitless as he was not answering his phone.