HIGH Court judge Justice Joseph Musakwa has ordered Home Affairs minister Kembo Mohadi and Commissioner -General of Police Augustine Chihuri to reimburse about $79 000 collected from a theft suspect, but never recorded in the exhibits books.
The money belonged to Mutare man Tendai Blessing Mangwiro.
On Wednesday, Justice Musakwa granted a default judgment against Mohadi, Chihuri, Officer-In-Charge CID Suspects Harare Central Police and one Detective Inspector Mukambi.
The judge noted that following Mangwiro’s arrest on February 16 2008 on charges of stealing the money from Andre Nsaka Nsaka, police released the cash to the latter before the matter went for trial.
Mangwiro was later tried at the Rusape Magistrates’ Court in November 2008 and found not guilty.
The court further noted that the cash in question and the motor vehicles that had been seized from Mangwiro were never made part of exhibits in the theft matter that was later brought before a Rusape magistrate.
Mangwiro had also claimed reimbursement of his Z$46 135 000 000 which he claimed was now worth about $1,5 million, but Justice Musakwa ruled that his claim could not be granted.
“I am satisfied that the plaintiff’s claim cannot be granted in its entirety. In the result it is ordered that the defendants jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved pay the plaintiff the sum of $78 900 . . . That the defendants jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved pay interest at the prescribed rate from the 25th of January 2013,” Justice Musakwa ruled.
The court also ordered Mohadi and Chihuri to pay the costs of the lawsuit.
According to the court papers, Mangwiro was arrested on February 16, 2008 after being accused of stealing $300 000 from Nsaka.
On the day in question, police confiscated among other properties, $78 900 in cash, ZW$46 135 000 000 (which the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe valued to the tune of $1 537 837,33), an Isuzu double cab and a Toyota Vista, all items belonging to Mangwiro.
In his affidavit presented to the court, Mangwiro said the two motor vehicles were later returned to him after it was established that they had not been bought through the proceeds of the alleged criminal enterprise.