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Buyanga demands Matanga's suspension

by Staff reporter
13 May 2020 at 16:47hrs | Views
African Medallion Group millionaire Frank Buyanga has written to President Emmerson Mnangagwa to protest claims by police chief Godwin Matanga that he is a "fugitive from justice."

Buyanga wrote that he does not want to "direct your thinking in any way" in the May 7 letter to Mnangagwa, even as he says the Police Commissioner General's alleged abuse of his constitutional rights "gives further doubt to Matanga's standing." He called for his suspension.

"I am a father, man of religion, philanthropist and businessman with a global standing, and I will have to bear the consequences of Matanga's statements," Buyanga said.

Matanga made the claim in an affidavit filed with the High Court last month after the businessman was accused of kidnapping his five-year-old son outside a busy Harare shopping centre in a raging custody battle with the boy's mother, Chantelle Muteswa.

But Buyanga says he has not been convicted of any crime and is only prevented from complying with a court order by travel restrictions during the coronavirus lockdown imposed by his undisclosed host country.

"Your Excellency, I am a man of integrity who cannot afford to be a fugitive especially over an issue involving my son. I believe my son deserves the best whilst I live, whether with me or his mother and I am doing the best I can for him," Buyanga wrote.

His son had been staying with him for seven months until March 11 when he says the boy was "unlawfully removed from my custody, against a court order, with the assistance of the Zimbabwe Republic Police and the Messenger of Court."

He said he complained to Matanga and filed a missing person report after the removal of his son from a top private school in Harare without his knowledge, but "nothing was done about my complaint."

"You will note Your Excellency that Mr Matanga does not in any way respond to my letters to him wherein I ask him to address my concerns as he elaborately responds to Ms Muteswa's frivolous reports," Buyanga charged. "This borders on infringement of my constitutional rights and gives further doubt to Matanga's standing in light of the police client service charter as the reports by Ms Muteswa which he responds to were made whilst she was in contempt, but he chooses to be selective in his application of uniformed enforcement."

The 40-year-old said he would "have no disrespect" for Mnangagwa if he chose to keep Matanga in his position, "though I would prefer a situation where he is suspended pending investigations into his conduct."

The litigious Buyanga last month wrote letters to the Judicial Service Commission, the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission and the Zimbabwe Human Rights Commission accusing a judge who was going to hear an application by Muteswa for him to return the child of being compromised, allegedly after being in telephonic contact with his ex-girlfriend's associates including one of Mnangagwa's sons, Collins.

Justice Jacob Manzunzu went on to hear the case and ruled against Buyanga, giving the South Africa-based businessman 48 hours to hand over the boy to Muteswa or the police, failing which the order would serve as an arrest warrant.

The judge said Buyanga had failed to prove that he and his son had left the country on March 27, as his lawyers argued, after the chief immigration officer said checks at Beitbridge border and the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport turned up no evidence of their exit.

Had Buyanga successfully proved his absence, Justice Manzunzu said he would have had no jurisdiction to entertain Muteswa's application.

Buyanga subsequently lost a bid before another High Court judge to have Manzunzu's order suspended. Justice Joseph Mafusire accused Buyanga's lawyers of "playing hide and seek" with the court by failing to prove where Buyanga was.

Writing to Mnangagwa, the businessman said: "I have repeatedly stated that I am not in Zimbabwe, neither was I in Zimbabwe on the court date as I had already left the country. For the record, I communicated this information to the Judicial Service Commission as well as the Judge President before the matter was heard and a judgement delivered… Unfortunately for me, there was radio silence on all complaints made."

Buyanga said the lack of rule of law in Zimbabwe was inhibiting "meaningful development", adding: "This is one of the main elements that continues to constrain our success as a nation Mr President."

Meanwhile, Buyanga has expressed disappointment with the Zimbabwe government for failing to acknowledge financial donations made following an appeal by finance minister Mthuli Ncube.

Buyanga did not disclose how much he deposited into the government's CBZ coronavirus appeal fund.

"While I do not expect my donation to make headlines, I would at least expect even a discrete acknowledgement from the relevant office as accountability is a key issue," he told Mnangagwa.

Buyanga said he had never benefitted "monetarily or otherwise" from the Zimbabwe government, yet he says he has "continued to look at the good of the country and not the bad as I carry on my path of hope that Zimbabwe will rise from the ashes."

Source - zimlive