Kubatana.net ~ an online community of Zimbabwean activists

What new leaf?

TOP del.icio.us

In Friday’s Zimbabwe Independent, co-Minster of Home Affairs, the MDC’s Theresa Makone, boldly claims that the police have “turned over a new leaf.”

The article quotes her as saying:

“As I speak right now everything is being effected – all court orders are being implemented, work is being done as the country moves forward. We are doing our job.”

Makone went further to say that: “The ZRP (Zimbabwe Republic Police) is doing what it was mandated to do.”

Among those disputing that is W. Ferguson, Managing Director of Denlynian game ranch in Beitbridge, as noted in the below letter to Minister Makone. If a leopard can’t change its spots, are the police’s new leaves likely to still be rotten?

To: Co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone

Dear Madam,

RE: Police have turned over a new leaf. Article in Independent 3rd Sept.2010

I wish to respond to certain claims you made as reported in the Independent of the 3rd September 2010 that “all court orders are being implemented” and the assurance that the “Zimbabwe Republic Police are now carrying out what they were mandated to do”.

Further, that, and I quote “the ZRP is now doing its job and we intervene where the Messenger of court is afraid and we go and assist”.

Lastly I would comment on your reported statement that, and I quote “there is no more hiding behind a finger of someone powerful”.

With all due respect, and although I can’t comment on what is happening in other areas of Zimbabwe, what is happening in the Beit Bridge District, is in direct contradiction and worse, than the claims in the quotes in the three paragraphs above.

Certain Officers of the ZRP Beit Bridge Rural and District Office have refused to provide the Messenger of the High Court any assistance to carry out a High Court Order and even worse have pursued a policy of arrests and harassment in defiance of the order granted by the High Court.

These same Officers have refused to accept reports and provide RRB numbers for serious criminal acts of theft of company assets, poaching and assault of company staff as they claim it is political.

Details, including, the Officers names is provided below for your perusal.

In regard to the statement of hiding behind someone powerful, certain members of our staff were told by Police and National Parks Officers and numerous Communal Farmers that there is a Senior Govt. Minister behind the Police behaviour and responsible for the crusade over the past 10 years to remove the Companies from the Wildlife Conservation Farm.

Assistant Inspector Michael Mamunye (spelling) the Police Officer in Charge Beit Bridge Rural.      This man is the fourth Respondent in the order and was served with a copy of the High Court Order personally as confirmed in the Deputy Messenger of the High Court’ in his return of service.

  • This man has pursued a policy of arrest and incarcerating the Company Staff in Police Cells over night on trumpet up charges and for poaching which is all tantamount to deliberate harassment.
  • This Officer is in deliberate breach of the order contained in paragraph two which directs quote “determined the applicants and all those who occupy the properties through them are entitled to continue their safari and hunting operations on the property”.      The arrest for poaching is in breach of this order.
  • This man is also in breach of the order in paragraph four as he refused to provide an escort to the Deputy Messenger of the High Court who was to enforce the High Court Order.

Superintendent Manai (spelling) who was served with a copy of the High Court Order and as Acting District Police Officer refused to provide the Deputy Messenger of the High Court with any assistance or escort in breach of paragraph 4 and quote “to enforce the terms of the order the fourth Respondent (Police) is ordered to render to the appropriate officer of court all such assistance as may be necessary to execute his duties.”The arrests and harassment has increased and being pursued with greater vigour, this in spite of certain Police Officers being warned, that they are acting in serious contempt of the Gwanda Magistrates Court Judgement, “dismissing” the States Application for an “Eviction Order against the Company’s”, as well as the “Spoliation Order” granted by the High Court in Bulawayo in our favour.

The Final Spoliation Order was granted by The High Court, (“AFTER” the Judgement was handed down by the Provincial Magistrates Court in Gwanda), which in law.

The Judgement grants the eviction of all occupants other than Company Staff from the properties, and interdicts the Police to assist in the removal of all illegal occupants and to further to assure that the Company’s Safari’s and General and Trophy Hunting operations are not interfered with by any one.

It would seem that these Police Officers and National Parks, don’t, or don’t want, to understand the true legal position which lays out clearly that the Company’s are in law the Legal Occupants and the Appropriate Authority in terms of the Wildlife Act.

The Company Staff were instructed to arrest a War Vet. Who is one of the main and most arrogant and troublesome illegal invaders, one Julias Siziba (alias Julias Maramani) for severely assaulting two of our Game Scouts Wives and for illegally netting fish in the Mazunga pools.

The man threw a shovel at the Scouts and ran away and went to Beit Bridge and made a report to the Police that he had been threatened with violence by my staff.

The next day Sunday the 15th August, all our staff were arrested by the Police on the instructions of the same Police Officer mentioned above and carted off to Beit Bridge and charged with public violence.     There being no Public Prosecutor present the case was remanded to the 6th of September.

No sooner were the staff back on the Properties when the total company staff, were rounded up on the 18th.August by the police and transported to the Beit Bridge Police Station and charged with poaching.     The charge, apparently for a Wildebeest, that had been shot by a friend of ours for Biltong and rations, for our Staff.

Once again the arrests were made by the Police Officer in Charge, and disappointingly the Officer in Charge of National Parks, who should know better, one Ranger or Warden Ngapawe.

The charge, being for poaching on, “in name only”, the so called Zhove Conservancy, sic., whose members are subject to a High Court eviction order and have previously asset stripped and vandalised the properties and slaughtered the Wildlife.

In spite of it being pointed out to Inspector Mamunye that he could be charged for contempt if he pursued this line of harassment, by certain CID Officers, and our Lawyer Mr Tchakalisa, he apparently said he couldn’t care.

He is in fact in contempt of the Gwanda Provincial Magistrates Court Judgement, dismissing the States Application for an Eviction Order against the Company’s, as well as the Spoliation Order granted by the High Court in Bulawayo in our favour,

The next afternoon the Staff were taken to court with their wrists tied with “shoe laces” and there being no Public Prosecutor present were remanded by the Police Prosecutor to the 28th of September.

On the advice of Legal Council it is our intention to have this man charged for contempt in his personal capacity, and it is our intention to institute civil proceedings against him and a number of others, as well as the illegal invaders in their personal capacity.

Apparently this Officer in Charge told one of my staff that the judgement by the magistrate in Gwanda only dismissed the case against my Son only and that when I returned to Zimbabwe, I would be arrested by him immediately.

The actual judgement dismissed the case against my Son, as well as the Company and denied the application for the eviction order.

This is disgusting and uncivilised behaviour and a serious infringement of ones Legal and Civil rights with distinct racial overtones, and it’s about time action is taken to rein in this culture of belligerent behaviour by the Police.

The Lawyer said he spent over an hour arguing with the Police, pointing out that they were in contempt of the Court Rulings. But they just brushed him off.

Yours Faithfully.

Managing Director

One comment to “What new leaf?”

  1. Comment by Kubatana.net speaks out from Zimbabwe » Blog Archive » Arrested for stating the obvious:

    [...] really am stumped by co-Home Affairs Minister Theresa Makone’s insistence that the police have been reformed. The implication is that all is rosy in Zimbabwe’s law and [...]