Sivan fraud case: Zacc and police at loggerheads, law officer arrest
The police with the help of deputy prosecutor general Michael Reza successfully had anti corruption investigator Smart Marlon Mandofa incarcerated.
Mandofa investigated and arrested businessman Ofer Sivan in a fraud case involving US$762 000 and ZWL$22 million.
Reza unsuccessfully tried to withdraw the charges Sivan currently face at the High Court and his appearance in court yesterday was met with suspicion.
The State and the police have now turned on Mandofa and arrested him and seeking to arrest two other Zacc officers accusing them of interacting with Gilad Shabtai who is the complainant against Sivan saying he was on a warrant of apprehension.
The alleged warrant was canceled by a Harare magistrate saying it was obtained in error.
The investigator says his arrest is just but persecution by Sivan as he is being arrested for doing his job.
There was drama at the Harare Magistrates Court when a visibly shaken prosecutor claimed to be sick and bolted out of the court just before deferring the prosecutorial duties to Mr Reza who was improperly dressed for Court since he was wearing a methodist of Zimbabwe grey t shirt and cargo pants.
In order to disable the court from dealing with the matter Reza recused himself claiming that he was conflicted.
Acting Deputy Chief Magistrate Mr Nduna wanted to deal with the matter and he even castigated the attitude of both prosecutors and judicial officers who simply attend to weekend duty as if it is for purposes of conveying suspects to Monday instead of dealing with the bail issues.
Mr Reza was given an opportunity to look for another prosecutor but after a short while he returned to Court and submitted that there was no prosecutor who could deal with the matter resulting in Mandofa’s lawyers saying that this was a sad day for justice.
The state alleges that Mandofa was not supposed to act on the complaint by Munyaradzi Gonyora because at the time Gonyora was an accused person appearing before the Magistrates Court.
The charges against Gonyora and Gilad Shabtai have been declined by the National Prosecuting Authority.
The State says Mandofa was not supposed to investigate a complaint lodged at ZACC but was supposed to team up with ZRP officers to investigate Shabtai and Gonyora over the same case that has since been declined by the prosecution.
One waits to see how ZACC will respond to this brazen abuse of duty by those that have arrested Mandofa for performing his duties resulting in the matter being enrolled for trial before a High Court judge.
Commentators are saying this is a ploy by Sivan to derail his trial which has been scheduled for March 28, instilling fear in witnesses.
It is clear that battle lines have been drawn because and sources say the ZACC chair is unhappy with the conduct of the ZRP officers.
Lawyers said the said warrant was improperly issued hence a nullity which Mandofa cannot be arrested on.
“I have further learnt that the alleged warrant of arrest against the complainant was never a valid warrant in the first place. It was allegedly issued by her Worship Mateko basing on a non-existing provision of the law. There is no section 37 (1) of the CPEA which was allegedly used to issue a warrant of arrest.
“In the circumstances these charges are a clear abuse of the criminal justice system. If there was no valid warrant of arrest in the first place, then Gilad Shabtai was not on a warrant of arrest then these charges become a nullity.
“one cannot put something on nothing and expect it to stand, it will collapse. The warrant of apprehension was itself an abuse of the criminal justice system for it was sought and granted based on non-existent provision of law and cannot be used to cause my arrest,” he said.Sivansee