SOUTH Africa-based businessman Frank Buyanga has approached the High Court seeking the cancellation of a warrant of arrest issued against him by the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
A Harare magistrate signed off a warrant for Buyanga’s arrest after his ex-girlfriend — Chantelle Muteswa — accused him of kidnapping their child last year.
In his application, Buyanga cited the magistrate, police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga and prosecutor-general Kumbirai Hodzi as the respondents.
In her application at the lower court, Muteswa had approached the police after Buyanga allegedly led three armed men to storm a supermarket car park in Waterfalls where she had been parked and kidnapped their then five-year-old son from the car.
She also claimed that Buyanga’s henchmen had physically assaulted her and her mother and stolen her bag with US$2 000 before speeding off in a white bakkie.
In the latest application, Buyanga is arguing that the magistrate had no jurisdiction to issue a warrant for his arrest as he had already left Harare by the time that she ruled on the matter.
“I am advised that the first respondent (magistrate) had no jurisdiction to entertain an application for a warrant of arrest whose subject was confirmed to be outside of the jurisdiction of her court.
“The first respondent proceeded to act contrary to the provision of section 33 of the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act yet she was informed that I was no longer within her area of jurisdiction.
“This is so grossly unreasonable that no court applying its mind to the same set of facts and applicable law would arrive to such. Owing to the irregularity…the decision to issue a warrant of arrest against me ought to be vacated,” read Buyanga’s application.
Buyanga is also arguing that the arrest warrant should be set aside since the police sergeant Lilibirth Ndlovu, who filed the application, had no locus standi.
“In the present matter, the first respondent acted irregularly and without jurisdiction. The gross irregularity was borne out of entertaining an application for a warrant of arrest from a police officer who is of rank of sergeant when the lower limit for those empowered at law to make the application is that of an assistant inspector who happens to be the person in charge of a police station.
“There is, therefore, sufficient basis for the honourable court to set aside the decision of the first respondent to issue the warrant of arrest against me,” he averred.
The respondents have yet to file their responses to the suit.