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Top cop testifies against Mliswa

by Staff reporter
02 Apr 2021 at 09:12hrs | Views
Norton legislator Temba Mliswa held a media conference at his house without authority from the regulatory officer in violation of Covid-19 regulations, although he had notified the police of his intentions, a senior police officer has said.

Chief Inspector Joshua Tigere, who is Officer Commanding Harare Suburban District, acknowledged that Mliswa informed the police about his intentions to hold a presser at his Borrowdale residence, but he did not give him the greenlight.

Chief Insp Tigere said this in court yesterday while giving evidence during Mliswa's application for referral of his matter, in which he is accused of violating Covid-19 regulations in February.

Mliswa had appeared before Harare magistrate Mrs Tafadzwa Miti, with Mr Tapuwanashe Zvidzai appearing for the State.

"That he notified Borrowdale Police Station is true, but the information for him to conduct that presser had been communicated otherwise," said Chief Insp Tigere.  

"In any case, notifying the police was not going to legalise the gathering of more than two people as required by law.

"The fact that police officers went to his house does not mean it was a legal gathering. The officers who went to his house were our intelligence officers.

"The two who went to his residence were not in uniform for the purpose of gathering information. We control gatherings in line with the law."  

Chief Insp Tigere said he was the regulating authority who approved such gatherings and on the period in question, he never authorised Mliswa to conduct the presser.

"I was the regulating authority during that time," he said. "I did not grant permission for the presser."  

Chief Insp Tigere said they only arrested Mliswa out of the rest of the people who attended the presser because he was the one who had convened the gathering. "He is the owner of the premises," he said.

"He was addressing people and partaking in the gathering. The law forbids such gatherings.

"SI200/20 only allowed people to travel for providing essential services not to gather."  

Chief Insp Tigere is expected to return to court on Tuesday when he will be cross-examined by Mliswa's lawyer, Mr Musindo Hungwe.

Source - the herald