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Locked up Frank Buyanga has Interpol warrant of arrest cancelled in Zim

Zimbabwean businessman Frank Buyanga Sadiqi who has been locked up at Sun City Prison in South Africa since last Thursday when he was arrested has now dramatically had his warrant of arrest cancelled by a court in Harare on Monday.

Buyanga was arrested by the South African Police Service (SAPS) during a joint raid involving the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) over allegations of child trafficking, immigration violations and forgery.

SAPS said it apprehended him around 4am at an upmarket hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg, South Africa.

“(Frank Buyanga) Sadiqi is wanted by the Zimbabwean authorities for child trafficking, forgery and violation of the immigration act,” South African police said in a statement signed by Colonel Athlenda Mathe.

“The charges emanate from an incident which took place in April 2020 in Zimbabwe where the suspect kidnapped his next of kin and fled with him to South Africa.

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“A warrant of arrest was immediately issued by Zimbabwean Authorities after which a red notice was issued by Interpol Harare.”

His lawyer Admire Rubaya then filed an application to cancel the warrant of arrest by the Magistrates Court arguing that it was outrageous, defied logic and no sensible court having applied its mind would arrive at that.

The magistrate who heard the application, Judith Taruvinga, admitted she issued the arrest warrant erroneously.

The State however opposed the application with prosecutor Zebediah Bofu arguing that Buyanga was “an outlaw or fugitive from justice. Such a person is absolutely precluded from approaching any court for any relief, including the one which he is seeking.”

“A fugitive from justice is a person who is a wanted in terms of the laws of the country and has fled from the jurisdiction of the court, and by so doing has set its laws at nought. He is aware of the issue, hence these proceedings.

“He has placed himself beyond the reach of the law and domestic apparatus to enforce that law by fleeing from the jurisdiction of the court,” Bofu submitted.

It is the State’s position that Buyanga was correctly placed on Interpol’s red notice on July 7, 2020 and the Supreme Court had confirmed it in the case of Buyanga versus Chantelle Muteswa under case number CCC14/21.

Rubaya in defending Buyanga argued differently.

“The said warrant of arrest cannot remain in force because it was irregularly issued. It has been abused and misused against him and his only recourse is to approach this court at this juncture for its cancellation,” Rubaya said.

He also said the Courts cannot entertain a warrant of arrest from a police officer of a rank two sergeant, when the lower limit for those who are empowered at law to make the application is that of an assistant inspector who happens to be a person in charge of a police station.

“There is, therefore, sufficient basis for the honourable court to cancel this warrant of arrest. There was no basis for the court to issue another warrant in circumstances where the warrant already existed.

“It is brazenly clear that the decision of the magistrates court to issue a warrant of arrest against him on the facts before the court was completely wrong at law and hereto the court has already indicated that it relied on that order to issue the warrant in question,” Rubaya submitted.