Business mogul Frank Buyanga, who is involved in a nasty fight over the custody of his minor son with ex-girlfriend Chantelle Muteswa, is languishing in jail after he was denied bail by a South African court.
Desperate to be released, Buyanga has filed an urgent chamber application with the South African High Court arguing he was unlawfully arrested.
The property tycoon was picked up by the international police organisation, Interpol, at Zimbabwe’s request, on allegations of kidnapping his eight-year-old son and flouting immigration laws.
He is accused of staging a movie style abduction of his son in Harare and taking the minor to South Africa.
In his papers, he said he is worried because he is not aware of his son’s whereabouts since the time the police pounced on him.
He claims President Emmerson Mnangagwa and his family are involved in his legal problems and urged South African authorities to resist being used Zimbabwe’s First Family.
And complementing the court challenge in South Africa, his lawyers in Zimbabwe have also filed papers before the Harare Magistrates Court, in a bid to overturn the “erroneous warrant of arrest order”.
“Political influence, use of State machinery and abuse of authority by the Zimbabwean government in this matter as stated somewhere above,” he argued.
“Miss Muteswa is heavily involved with the First Family to the extent that she is willing to be used as a pawn to get to me. She has had frequent visits to the Zimbabwean State House during my custody battle in Zimbabwe.
“There is no merit in this matter that warrants my arrest and detention to the extent that the State is justified in opposing bail.
“It is bizarre for the Zimbabwean government to label me as a fugitive when I have been filing court papers in their courts since the Manzunzu judgement till present day,” he said.
Buyanga cited South African authorities including the director of public prosecutions, department of correctional services, Justice Minister, Commissioner of police as well as Muteswa as respondents.
He also cited the Zimbabwean department of Home Affairs, international relations and the embassy of Zimbabwe.
“I find it ironic, irregular and unconstitutional for the first to fourth respondents herein to treat me as a fugitive to the extent that they will defy the current court processes in their own country in order to please Zimbabwe,” he argued.
“There is no justification for the blind obedience of this extradition process currently under way, it is prematurely executed as there is a pending court process currently under way.
“I have not been found guilty of any criminal actions, yet I am being portrayed as a fugitive and treated as a criminal.”
Buyanga said his attorneys advised the court that he was not within the jurisdiction of Zimbabwe, producing a stamped copy of his passport.
He said a court order was issued by the South Africa courts in his favour but that has not been respected resulting in his arrest.
He further told court that he should not be extradited because if granted primary custody by the South African courts the order will become moot giving him a chance to get his name removed on the Red Notice list with Interpol.
“Until then, the extradition process currently under way is unconstitutional, irregular and defeats the ends of justice.
“It’s contemptuous in nature; it disregards and undermines the powers, functions and duties of the courts to the extent that the First to Fourth Respondents herein have broken the concept of separation of powers of the arms of the state.”