Police impound Simezaís Benz
Police have impounded Lusaka lawyer
Robert Simeza's Mercedes Benz CLS car, in circumstances that
have been described as sheer state harassment.
Well-placed sources close
to the investigations yesterday revealed that Simeza has been targeted by virtue
of him being former Finance
Bank chairman Rajan
Mahtani's defence counsel.
"From what is going on itís very clear
that the state is harassing Simeza. As you are aware his colleague John Sangwa
is already appearing in court after he was charged with altering a forged
document and now they want to charge Simeza with theft of motor vehicle and
failure to account for the same vehicle," the source said.
was that on Wednesday, October 6, 2010 around 09:00 hours, police officers
stormed the duo's law firm located at The Coliseum along Bwinjimfumu Road in
Lusaka's Rhodes Park residential area. The six police officers demanded that
Simeza accompany them to Police Service Headquarters."
The sources said
the police officers also demanded that they pick Simeza's Mercedes Benz CLS,
registration number CLS 789.
"Whilst at the police headquarters they told
Simeza that they were investigating reports that the said vehicle was stolen
from South Africa. But Simeza simply stated that this was a local vehicle
imported around 2004 or 2005 by Sobi Industries. And that when one of the
partners for Sobi Industries was relocating to Dubai he decided to sell the
vehicle and that's how Simeza bought it under favourable terms and was allowed
to pay for it in instalments," the source said.
"The police said he
should accompany them to the alleged importers of the vehicle at Sobi Industries
and the officials at Sobi Industries confirmed that they imported the vehicle
through Marunouchi which is now Southern Cross Motors and that they were aware
that it was later sold to Mr Simeza. After that the junior officers returned to
service headquarters to give their report.
But Simeza became alarmed
when he saw that certain police officers he worked with in the Mathew Mohan murder case
when the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) appointed him as private prosecutor were the ones directing
the issue of investigations of his vehicle."
The sources said Simeza
seemed uncomfortable because it was these same officers that were believed to
have orchestrated his dismissal as private prosecutor although he stayed on as a
friend of the court.
"So Simeza demanded that these officers should
excuse themselves from the case involving his vehicle because it appears it was
being driven by vindictiveness. They demanded that Simeza parks the vehicle but
he demanded that they go to Southern Cross Motors. They went there and Southern
Cross Motors confirmed that the vehicle was imported by them and even gave them
a copy of the vehicle's details," another source said.
"At this stage
Simeza was hopeful that his vehicle would be released when these details from
Southern Cross Motors emerged. But the police changed that in fact they were
investigating the case of possession. They now wanted to establish how Robert
came to own the vehicle. They demanded that he provides a valid letter of sale,
proof that he paid transfer taxes to the Zambia
Revenue Authority (ZRA) and a valid white book."
The sources said the
case is purely that of state-orchestrated intimidation against
"There is an instruction to deal with Mahtani effectively and the
decision by Simeza and Sangwa to represent Mahtani seems to have attracted this
wrath on themselves. It appears that they are standing in the way to crush
Mahtani and junior officers who have issues with Simeza and Sangwa are now
sneaking in their private agendas," the source said.
"This is an attempt
to scare Simeza. So right now as we speak, the vehicle remains impounded at
Police Service headquarters despite the fact that the vehicle was properly
imported and even the Interpol section at Police headquarters has cleared the
vehicle. In fact, there is even no report of the vehicle having been stolen
anywhere in the world. Even here in Zambia there is no complainant but despite
all this, police are insisting that they have to verify."