Commissioner-General of Police, Augustine Chihuri has approached the courts, seeking to search the Infrastructure Development Bank of Zimbabwe (IDBZ) premises to obtain information on an American firm, Interjet Company (Pvt) Ltd, which allegedly duped a local businessman in an aircraft lease deal.
The Florida-based firm allegedly defrauded Stephen Chituku, a director of Southern Cargo Airline (Pvt) Ltd, in an aircraft lease deal which failed to materialise.
On October 6 this year, Chihuri filed a chamber application, seeking dismissal of IDBZ’s application filed last year challenging the warrant of seizure, which the police had obtained to search the bank.
According to the court papers, sometime in January last year, Chihuri, through his junior officer, Detective Assistant Inspector Collius Mushambi, approached IDBZ armed with a search warrant, but his move was thwarted by the bank, which filed an application barring the search.
Thereafter, IDBZ did not pursue the matter, prompting Chihuri to approach the court seeking dismissal of the application with a view to continue with his investigations.
“The respondent (IDBZ) has neglected or failed to timeously prosecute the court application which he instituted before this honourable court under case number HC394/16. A period in excess of one month has lapsed after the applicants (Chihuri and Mushambi) filed their heads of argument. The respondent has not set the matter down for hearing,” Chihuri said.
Respondent has neglected and shown a lack of interest in prosecuting his court application to finality and I am entitled as I, hereby, do to make an application for dismissal for want of prosecution.”
Attorney-General’s Office representative, Margeret Gezera, a law officer in the Civil Division, who filed an affidavit on Chihuri’s behalf, said IDBZ was no longer interested in challenging the warrant, hence, the court should rule in his client’s favour.
“On January 15, 2016, the respondent through his legal practitioners, Messrs Gills, Godlonton and Gerrans, filed an application seeking the court to set aside the warrant of search and seizure … respondent ought to have filed his heads of argument and set down for hearing the court application within one month, but has failed to do so to this date as required by rule 236(2) of the High Court rules,” Gezera said
“This is a clear indication that respondent does not intend to prosecute his case; a period of about 20 months has lapsed since applicants filed their response.”
In his response to IDBZ’s application last year, the officer who delivered the warrant of search and seizure, Mushambi said: “I did not demand, but just delivered the search warrant to the loss control manager, Ngoni Nyikadzino, to help with the documents mentioned in the warrant. They did not provide the documents; instead they served a court application protesting the handling of the documents mentioned in the warrant.”
The matter is yet to be set down for hearing.