Kwekwe gold cops cleared

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

THREE se­nior po­lice of­fi­cers who were be­ing charged for al­legedly op­er­at­ing a gold mine in Kwekwe in vi­o­la­tion of the Po­lice Act have been ac­quit­ted.

Su­per­in­ten­dents Temba Mpofu, Tam­budzai Muchineuta and Bat­sirai Mungwa were cleared after ap­pear­ing be­fore a dis­ci­plinary hear­ing presided over by Mid­lands Pro­vin­cial mag­is­trate Mrs Phathek­ile Msipa.

The mag­is­trate said prose­cu­tors had failed to prove their case and the three po­lice of­fi­cers had con­vinced the hear­ing that they aban­doned the ven­ture at Bell 3 Con­sol­i­dated Gold Mines after real­is­ing that it would be ex­pen­sive for them.

The trio stood ac­cused of 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.”

Sups Mpofu, Muchineuta and Mungwa pleaded not guilty.

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.

In her ver­dict, Mrs Msipa said prose­cu­tors had failed to prove that the trio were op­er­at­ing a gold mine with­out seek­ing the Com­mis­sioner Gen­eral of Po­lice’s con­sent.

“There were two is­sues to be de­cided here, one whether or not the ac­cused per­sons had con­ducted busi­ness with­out the ap­proval of the CGP and what busi­ness had been con­ducted by the ac­cused per­sons. The wit­nesses said they didn’t know the ac­cused per­sons,” she said.

“The pros­e­cu­tion failed to prove that the ju­nior of­fi­cers As­sis­tant In­spec­tor Manyudza Mandowe and Con­sta­ble Rai­son Mu­tubuki were in­deed agents of the ac­cused per­sons.”

Mrs Msipa said the ac­cused per­sons did not dis­pute that they made an ap­pli­ca­tion for a gold mine and even went to make fea­si­bil­ity stud­ies for the busi­ness.

She said the cops told the court that they aban­doned the ven­ture after learn­ing that it would be an ex­pen­sive ex­er­cise for them.

“The ac­cused said they even en­gaged other peo­ple to as­sist them in min­ing. But after real­is­ing it was not pos­si­ble they aban­doned the project and there­fore didn’t seek author­ity from CGP.

“The pros­e­cu­tion should have called a se­nior po­lice of­fi­cer to chal­lenge the ver­sion given by the ac­cused. That as­pect re­mained out­stand­ing and the case was left limp­ing,” Mrs Msipa said. — @pchi­tumba1

Dr Joice Mu­juru

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