Govt enlists Interpol to help arrest ‘fugitive’ Buyanga over child custody wrangle

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By Staff Reporter

THE Zimbabwe government has enlisted the services of the International Police (Interpol) to help arrest flamboyant businessman Frank Buyanga claiming he is a fugitive.

Buyanga has been involved in a drawn-out battle with ex-lover Chantelle Muteswa over the custody of the couple’s minor child.

The dispute has sucked in the first family including Collins Mnangagwa, son to President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

Collins is reportedly dating Buyanga’s ex-lover and mother to his son, Chantelle. The two have been battling for custody, with Buyanga seeking joint custody and Muteswa asking the court to be declared sole guardian.

Muteswa was initially granted sole guardianship of the boy but she lost out after she was evicted from a house she lived with her father.

The businessman was later granted joint custody, which the mother disagreed with. Buyanga travelled to South Africa with the five-year-old.

Two weeks ago, the matter took a twist with the courts ordering the child to be returned from South Africa to Zimbabwe.

The Sandton mogul has however refused to give up the fight for his son and vowed to launch a legal battle against the court ruling.

Now, in court papers filed in Harare on Wednesday, Police Commissioner-General Godwin Matanga opposed Buyanga’s request for stay of execution of Justice Manzunzu’s April 16 ruling.

Buyanga had cited Matanga as the third respondent in his High Court application.

The police chief said Zimbabwe had already approached the International Police (Interpol) to find the ‘fugitive’ Buyanga and kidnapped minor child, Alexander.

“Interpol has been invoked to assist in locating both the Applicant and minor child outside this jurisdiction,” Matanga said.

“It will be an affront for this Honorable Court to entertain a fugitive from justice like the Applicant.”

He added, “The order that was granted by Manzunzu J on April 16, 2020, which the Applicant now seeks to stay its execution emanates from a criminal offence committed by the Applicant of contravening (a certain section of the Criminal Law) in that he kidnapped a minor child, Alexander Sadiqi from the lawful custody of (his mother, Chantelle Muteswa) …on Match 26, 2020.”

Responding to the move by the Zimbabwe government, Buyanga’s lawyers said they have already approached Interpol.

The businessman’s lawyers ask Interpol to investigate the request by the Zimbabwe government as it seems the impoverished Southern African administration was abusing international recourse to laws for the benefit of politicians.

Buyanga has previously written a complaint to the Judicial Services Commission against President Mnangagwa’s son saying he was interfering with the courts in Zimbabwe.

The letter to Interpol reads: “Our client urges you to vigorously scrutinise the request in question and get as much information as possible before making a decision on the request. It is his considered view that before the request from Zimbabwe Republic police is processed there is a need for Interpol to be adequately informed on all the issues bedevilling the request.

“The Interpol red notice is a political ploy disguised as a tool to try combat crime in Zimbabwe. This is a perfect example of the red notice mechanisms by political hawks who target their perceived political opponent who might be of the firm view that the politics of the country could have been managed in a different and better manner that the current political order,” said the lawyers.