Police to charge Deputy Information Minister

BULAWAYO – Police in Matabeleland North province will summon deputy minister of Information and Publicity, Jameson Timba, to ascertain why he handed over to Tsvangirai’s driver a vehicle that was left in his custody by a South African businessman.\r\n

Police say Timba breached the country’s immigration laws when he allowed an unauthorized person to drive the vehicle, a bullet proof BMW that was later impounded by police in Lupane last year.

Tsvangirai used the car ahead of the disputed presidential election in June.

The South African owner of the vehicle, Adrain Espag, was initially wanted by the police to answer to charges of contravening the Immigrations Act, but police say they now want to charge Timba.

The lawyer representing the Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) in the matter, Job Sibanda of Job Sibanda and Associates, confirmed on Friday that police now want to charge Timba over the vehicle.

“Police approached me last week and said they were not interested in Espag but instead want to charge Timba who was left in custody of the vehicle,” Sibanda said.

Espag donated the bullet proof vehicle to Tsvangirai for use during the election campaigns as the MDC was reportedly under attack from ZANU PF during that time. Violence against MDC supporters and its leadership intensified at that time last year.

Police in Lupane have refused to release the armoured BMW X5 vehicle, initially insisting that Espag should present himself to the police.

Sibanda said the information has been passed on to Timba and said it is up to him to decide whether to present himself to Lupane police. Sibanda also said the vehicle was still parked at Lupane police station.

Reports earlier in the week however indicated that the vehicle was now damaged and had been used illegally by police to run their errands in the district.

“As far as I am concerned the vehicle is still with the police at Lupane police station and they have not indicated to us that there is something wrong with it,” Sibanda said.