POLICE Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and his deputy Innocent Matibiri have approached the High Court seeking to stop the incarceration of a Bulawayo senior police officer on contempt of court charges.
Report by Richard Muponde
Bulawayo High Court judge Justice Maphios Cheda on February 8 ruled that Superintendent Pilate Moyo must be arrested for resisting the Deputy Sheriff’s efforts to attach his property after he was sued by a disgruntled police officer.
Moyo was sued by his subordinate, Detective Bazil Nyapokoto, for work-related victimisation.
On Friday, Chihuri and Matibiri got involved in the matter when they filed an urgent chamber application through Joseph Mumbengegwi from the Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s Office seeking a stay of execution of the order which seeks Moyo’s arrest and incarceration.
In January last year, High Court judge Justice Lawrence Kamocha awarded Nyapokoto $56 000 damages against his superiors.
Nyapokoto was kicked out of his official residence at Ross Camp after he testified against fellow police officers during an inquest into the murder of two suspected armed robbers three years ago while in custody.
Chihuri is the applicant and Nyapokoto is a respondent. In the application, Chihuri said Nyapokoto should not have sued Moyo in his official capacity if he wanted to execute an order against his personal property.
He said there was an application for rescission of the default judgment which Nyapokoto got in 2011 for damages of over $56 000.
Moyo, who is in charge of police camps, was cited as the one who ordered Nyapokoto’s eviction.
Following the ruling, the deputy sheriff attempted to attach Moyo’s property, but he resisted the move, leading to the latest order for his incarceration. In his founding affidavit for rescission of the judgment, Matibiri said they always wanted to defend the matter but were barred from tendering a plea after delays in coming to court due to some “administrative issues”.
Nyapokoto’s lawyer, Tanaka Muganyi, has since opposed Chihuri’s application and the matter is waiting to be heard by a judge.
Muganyi had last Friday issued an ultimatum to Bulawayo police commander Senior Assistant Commissioner Steven Mutamba to arrest Moyo.
The lawyer demanded that the police officer be delivered to the nearest prison to serve a 90-day jail term for defying the court order before end of day on Monday.
Moyo has to date not been arrested.