Speaker of the National Assembly Jacob Mudenda has defended the manner in which MDC Alliance MP for Harare West Joanna Mamombe was arrested during a parliamentary workshop in Nyanga at the weekend.
Mudenda denied that Mamombe was arrested while on parliamentary business but rather on the way back to Harare. Said Mudenda:
The people who arrested her were very civil…they actually approached me and I reminded them to observe the law which they did.
However, Mamombe’s legal counsel, Jeremiah Bhamu told a Harare magistrate on Monday that she was taken away by one Ernest Moyo while police officers claimed that the “arrest” had nothing to do with them. Said Bhamu:
Mamombe called me on 25 February she advised me that they were people at her mother’s residence. She said I must attend to all legal issues arising. There wasn’t an arrest warrant and as an MP her address was known.
I then proceeded to Police Law and Order and I liaised with Detective Inspector Mariyapera and we agreed that the accused person was attending Parliament business. I also wanted to know why there are people at her mother’s place. He said they weren’t responsible for those people.
Mariyapera confirmed to me that they wanted to question Mamombe on allegations of public violence. While in the police officer I phoned the accused and told her the police had confirmed they wanted to charge her. I asked her when she would come to Harare and she said Saturday 2 March.
Subsequently, on Saturday, I received calls from Mamombe’s relative and fellow parliamentarian advising me that she had been picked by a large number of people. Before I made enquiry I talked to Innocent Gonese to check if any details of her being picked in Nyanga.
If the accused was arrested in Nyanga she was supposed to be taken to the nearest police station. I was told that Mamombe was arrested by one Ernest Moyo who claimed to be a member of Law and Order.
I then proceed to Law and order to look for the officer in charge. I narrated my case and I was told that they are aware of the case but he said there was no police officer at Law and Order Harare called Ernest Moyo. They also said they did not order anyone to arrest Mamombe.
I tried to make contact with Ernest Moyo and he told me that he would be in Harare after 3 hours. When I later went to Law and Order the police did not disclose to me the location of Mamombe.
It only happened by chance when I talked to an officer and I saw Mamombe seated in that office with one Runganga who said he didn’t know why she was in the office. The officer in charge also confirmed what happened to Mamombe was not from their orders.