Gold mine cops to have day in court

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - National News/worldwide - Pa­trick Chi­tumba Mid­lands Bureau Chief

MID­LANDS Pro­vin­cial mag­is­trate Mrs Phathek­ile Msipa has ruled that three se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers who are be­ing charged for al­legedly op­er­at­ing a gold mine in vi­o­la­tion of the Po­lice Act have a case to an­swer.

Su­per­in­ten­dents Temba Mpofu, Tam­budzai Muchineuta and Bat­sirai Mungwa yes­ter­day ap­peared be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing presided by Mrs Msipa and ap­plied for dis­charge at the end of the state case, but the mag­is­trate dis­missed their ap­pli­ca­tion. The mat­ter was re­manded to Au­gust 11 for trial.

The three are fac­ing charges of con­tra­ven­ing the Po­lice Act for al­legedly “with­out the ap­proval of the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of Po­lice, car­ry­ing on any busi­ness trade, oc­cu­pa­tion or busi­ness either di­rectly or through the agency of any other per­son.”

Mrs Msipa was brought in to pre­side over the mat­ter af­ter the po­lice of­fi­cers asked to be tried by a mag­is­trate from the Ju­di­cial Ser­vice Com­mis­sion through their lawyer Mr Ton­derai Chitere of Chitere and Chi­dawanyika and Part­ners. Sups Mpofu, Muchineuta and Mungwa pleaded not guilty. In her de­ter­mi­na­tion on whether or not the se­nior cops have a case to an­swer, Mrs Msipa said the court found that they ap­plied for a min­ing trib­ute from Con­sol­i­dated Gold Mines in Kwekwe which was granted.

She said avail­able ev­i­dence did es­tab­lish a prima fa­cie case against them.

“The ac­cused had two (ju­nior) of­fi­cers who were part of the syn­di­cate who were phys­i­cally on the ground min­ing as stated by the wit­nesses. There is no ba­sis that the ac­cused can be ac­quit­ted,” said Mrs Msipa.

In their de­fence out­line, the po­lice of­fi­cers de­nied op­er­at­ing a busi­ness ven­ture with­out author­ity.

“Ac­cused per­son two, three and four did not con­duct any busi­ness be­cause even though they en­tered into a con­tract for min­ing they had no ca­pac­ity. Be­cause they had no equip­ment and money re­quired they could not seek author­ity for a busi­ness ven­ture they were un­able to em­bark on,” reads part of their de­fence out­line.

Prose­cu­tor Kelvin Gu­veya said be­tween De­cem­ber last year and Fe­bru­ary 19 and at Bell 3, Kwekwe, Con­sol­i­dated Gold Mines, Sups Mpofu, Muchineuta and Mungwa un­law­fully en­gaged in gold min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties with­out the ap­proval of the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of Po­lice Au­gus­tine Chi­huri — @pchi­tumba1

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