HARARE – A Mutare-based businessman has dragged Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo to court to force him to facilitate the re-imbursement of $78 900 seized by the police following his arrest in 2008 on theft charges.
Tendai Blessing Mangwiro, filed an application for mandamus (a judicial remedy) on Monday, demanding Chombo to act in terms of his duties and facilitate the release of his money.
Mangwiro, who was cleared of the theft charges in 2012, said that since an order for the re-imbursement of the money was done over a year ago, Chombo has not acted in terms of the directive.
“…it is respondent (Chombo)’s failure as the minister of Home Affairs to comply with the statutory duty on him…which prompted me to make this application…,” Mangwiro said.
He accused Chombo of misleading his lawyers, following several communications, where the minister claimed, “all necessary arrangements have been made to request and pay the amounts due to your client as granted by the court.”
Mangwiro said according to Section 5 of the State Liabilities Act, where a person successfully sues the State, the court cannot order execution or attachment against the State’s property.
He however, said Chombo as the nominal defendant and Home Affairs minister had an obligation to have the money paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
“…I implore this honourable court to hold the respondent as a public servant to be personally held liable for not complying with the honourable court’s order because he has failed or neglected to perform a mandatory duty which is cast upon him by the statute because the statute has set him as an agent of the legislature,” Mangwiro said.
He is now seeking a directive for Chombo to comply with the court order, failure of which he argues the minister must be declared to be in contempt of court.
In his previous court papers, Mangwiro said that the police seized US$78 900, Z$46 135 000 000, which he said was equivalent to US$1 537 837, 33 and two vehicles.
The two vehicles were released in 2008, but he is still to get the confiscated money.