Chihuri in trouble


A South African national, whose car is being held at Inyathi Police Station in Matabeleland North despite a High Court order for its release, yesterday filed a lawsuit for contempt of court against Police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri.

Diedrick Jacobus Coetzers Ford vehicle has been held by the police since early this year as part of his bail conditions in a case he was accused of working at Waterwitch Mine in Inyathi without a work permit since November last year.

But the State later withdrew the charges, prompting the courts to order the release of Coetzers vehicle.
Police have reportedly ignored a series of court orders to release the vehicle, prompting the South African to sue Chihuri.

Coetzers lawyer Vonani Majoko of Majoko and Majoko Legal Practitioners yesterday said they wanted the court to compel Chihuri to provide police to assist the applicant recover his car.

They also want the police boss to be found in contempt of court and fined $5 000 which he should pay from his own pocket.

In terms of the application, if Chihuri remains in defiance of the High Court order, the Deputy Sheriff for the Bulawayo Region should be asked to give effect to the order.

A court order granting the release of Coetzers vehicle was first given by a magistrate on January 31, but nothing was done.

On February 9, the Bulawayo High Court ruled in Coetzers favour, but the vehicle has not been released, three weeks later.

On February 17, Coetzers lawyers wrote to the Zimbabwe Republic Police legal services department in Harare to complain about the non-release of the car.

In the letter, the lawyer explained the car was bank-financed and he had been advised by the South African bank that it intended to make a formal report to Interpol over the vehicle.

Meanwhile, Coetzer is reported to have been penalised by the Zimbabwe Revenue Authority because the vehicle has overstayed in Zimbabwe. It had been cleared to remain in the country up to January 31 this year.

The case will be heard by acting Bulawayo High Court judge Misheck Cheda today.