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Tsvangirai aide accuses Zimbabwe police of inhuman treatment

by Court Reporter
28 May 2013 at 03:23hrs | Views
Director of research in Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai's office, Thabani Mpofu, accused of flouting the country's firearms law, said the manner in which the police confiscated his documents and gun was humiliating after they stormed into his bathroom where his wife was relieving herself.

He told the court that he had advised them against doing so.

Mpofu was testifying in his defence before Harare magistrate Ms Anita Tshuma.

The defence case opened last week after Ms Tshuma dismissed his application for discharge at the close of the State case.

Ms Tshuma ruled that Mpofu had a case to answer and should be put to his defence.

She said the State had proved a prima-facie case against him.

Mpofu accused the police officers who arrested him of misleading the court when they testified against him during the State's case.

"The officers have been misleading prosecutors and the court.

"I feel the matter has not been accorded fairness because the witnesses sought to paint a misleading picture to this court," he said.

Last week Mpofu through his lawyer Mr Alec Muchadehama told the court that he was given the firearm when he was still in the employ of the Attorney General's Office.

He said it was given to him to protect himself at a time when his office was prosecuting high profile cases involving dangerous criminals.

He also said during that time some law officers were threatened with death.

He said when the licence first expired in 2007 he did not renew it because he thought it was not necessary since it was State property.

He added that the police frustrated all his attempts to surrender his firearm after leaving the employ of the AG's office in 2003.

The former prosecutor told the court that the charges against him were maliciously preferred by people with personal interests.

He further said when he spoke to different police officers about the firearm, they gave him inconsistent views on what he should do about it after officers at Bulawayo Central Police Station told him he could not surrender it to them because it was registered in his name.

He said when he first went to the Firearm Registry back in 2006, there was no animosity and he was just told that he had to surrender the gun at Avondale Police Station, which was close to his place of residence.

All the efforts, he said, yielded no results.

Charges  against Mpofu arose when detectives searching for documents at his premises stumbled on, and confiscated a firearm that was hidden under a pile of clothes in the house.

When police asked to see a certificate for the weapon, Mpofu allegedly failed to produce one leading to his arrest.

Source - herald