Senior cops in ‘violation of Police Act’
THREE senior police officers who were allegedly operating a gold mine in violation of the Police Act have said they were granted a gold mine tribute but were in the process of looking for possible partners and therefore could not be said to have been operating the mine.
Superintendents Temba Mpofu, Tambudzai Muchineuta and Batsirai Mungwa appeared before a disciplinary hearing presided by Midlands Provincial Magistrate Mrs Phathekile Msipa facing allegations of running a mine without the permission of the Commissioner General of Police as required at law.
The three are alleged to have violated 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 said she would deliver judgment in the matter on August 22.
She 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.
Their trial commenced on Thursday after Mrs Msipa dismissed their application for discharge at the end of State case two weeks ago.
Supt Mpofu said they had applied for a mining tribute from Consolidated Gold Mines in Kwekwe which was granted.
“After the tribute was granted we started looking for potential business partners. So we were still at the preliminary stages and had not started mining. We were going to approach the Commissioner General for approval to enter into gold mining once we had identified an investor or partner,” he said.
Both Sups Muchineuta and Mungwa concurred with Supt Mpofu.
They said they were going to seek authority from their boss before they started any mining activities.
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.