Police have accused Smart Marlon Mandofa, a Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) officer, of colluding with a Harare businessman involved in a corruption case.
Mandofa was investigating the case of Ofer Sivan, a prominent Harare-based businessman who allegedly defrauded his former business – Gilad Shabtai and Munyaradzi Gonyora – partners of US$762,000 and ZWL$22 million.
He was arrested by police last Friday on suspicion of colluding with Gilad Shabtai.
According to the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP), Mandofa was associated with Shabtai, who was wanted for fraud and tax evasion at the time Sivan made allegations against him.
The allegations have since been dropped, with acting Prosecutor General Nelson Mutsonziwa confirming in a letter that there was no more pending case against Shabtai. Said Mandofa through his lawyers:
These allegations are clearly hogwash. There is no clarity as to how and when I associated with Gilad 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.
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.
According to inside sources, the arrest of Mandofa by police was intended to interfere with an ongoing investigation, which is scheduled for trial on March 28, ZimLive reported.
This has also been interpreted by some inside sources as an attempt by Sivan to avoid prosecution, as the police have targeted all of the investigating officers who could testify in his fraud case.
According to inside sources, ZACC’s attempts to engage the police in the matter have so far been futile.
Mandofa, through his legal representatives, denied the charges describing them as trumped-up charges orchestrated by Sivan.
He added that there is no clarity as to how he allegedly associated with Shabtai. Madndofa added that there is a need for evidence which proves the alleged association.