By Staff Reporter
ZIMBABWE Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and police are headed for an unprecedented clash over the arrest of Smart Mandofa, an investigating officer at the anti-graft body.
Mandofa was arrested on allegations he had interacted with Gilad Shabtai, an alleged victim of business partner Ofer Sivan who is said to have fraudulently altered company ownership and bank documents to his benefit.
NewZimbabwe.com can exclusively reveal that Mandofa and his lawyers were locked in discussions with the police over the matter after ZACC engaged them.
“These allegations are clearly hogwash, there is no clarity as to how and when I associated with Shabtai at the time. If a person is on an alleged outstanding warrant of arrest which is not placed or served upon me should I refuse to investigate a matter which is allocated to me, ” Mandofa said through his lawyers.
“Does this mean that where the facts disclose an offence I should not arrest a suspect and take them to court? Isn’t it correct that the complainant was supposed to challenge his placement on remand in the first place not to arrest a mere police officer like me?”
The arrest has raised questions of police interference in ZACC investigations, a long standing feud over high-stakes matters handled by the two security agencies.
Sivan had originally reported Shabtai and Gonyora to the police accusing them of fraud.
The case was however dismissed after acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa said they had no case against his business partners.
Added Mandofa: “This therefore further implicates that the court which proceeded to place Sivan on remand after being informed that the complainant was on a warrant of arrest has to also be questioned. The same applies to the Public Prosecutor who placed him on remand, opposed bail on behalf of the State and continued to remand him until he was indicted to the High Court where he is already facing fraud charges and is supposed to appear in court on the 28th of March 2023.
“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 a non-existent provision of law and cannot be used to cause my arrest.”