News / National
Chihuri warns Mtetwa over Grace Mugabe's ring
03 Mar 2017 at 05:44hrs | Views
POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has accused prominent human rights lawyer Beatrice Mtetwa of seeking to jeopardise police investigations into Lebanese businessman Ahmed Jamal.
Jamal is embroiled in a nasty $1,35 million diamond ring wrangle with First Lady Grace Mugabe.
In his bid to shield the force in the pending civil suit, Chihuri this week issued the warning through the Officer Commanding Crime, CID Law and Order, Superintendent Nyambo Viera.
According to Jamal's application deposited by Mtetwa, the Lebanese said Chihuri, Viera and Senior Assistant Commissioner Thulani Ncube should be joined in his civil suit in which he is suing First Lady Grace, her son Russell Goreraza and one Kennedy Fero for the return of his properties that were allegedly seized by police at the behest of President Robert Mugabe's wife.
Commenting on the First Lady's involvement in the matter, Viera said: "The insinuation that the police are acting in concert with the second respondent (Grace) in the main case is ludicrous and meritless. The police are carrying out their mandate by investigating cases in which the second respondent in the main case is a complainant."
But communication between Grace and Jamal allegedly showed the First Lady warning that Jamal could be barred from entering the country.
Viera said Mtetwa's application on behalf of Jamal was "meant to jeopardise police investigations that are underway and are not connected" to the diamond ring saga.
"The police cannot divulge the finer details of the investigations to Ms Beatrice Mtetwa, who is representing the first applicant (Jamal), who is on the run. I remain cognisant of my duty to inform the applicant upon his arrest of the reason for his arrest. I cannot pre-empt to him as doing so will impact negatively on the investigations," Viera said.
"One wonders why his (Jamal) lawyer, who is an officer of this honourable court, is assisting her client to play hide-and-seek with the police. Ms Mtetwa is entitled to her thinking, but she should desist from interfering with police investigations."
He said Mtetwa was surreptitiously hoping to get information which concerns police investigations by seeking the joinder of the law enforcement agency in her civil action.
"I aver that joining the police to the civil action will seriously prejudice police investigations as information which is going to be used against the first applicant will be availed to him and that would afford him the opportunity to conceal or destroy evidence, thereby defeating police efforts," Viera said.
The police boss said he had been investigating Jamal since 2016 and had uncovered evidence that the Lebanese had committed a series of offences.
"For the sake of clarity, it must be noted that I (Viera) commenced investigating applicant (Jamal) in early 2016 after receiving information about his suspicious criminal exploits which include theft, fraud, money-laundering, contravention of the Exchange Control Act, contravention of the Immigration Act and his dealings in diamonds," Viera said.
"So far investigations have unravelled that there is credence to the information the police have gathered as a number of suspicious activities by the first applicant have been established which amounts to offences."
Jamal has accused the police of acting on Grace's orders rather than follow due process.
Viera further said investigations had also shown that Jamal accumulated vast wealth and properties which included both movable and immovable properties whose acquisition was also the subject of investigations, adding "a warrant of arrest has been issued against him (Jamal)."
Source - newsday