MUTARE businessman Tendai Blessing Mangwiro has approached the High Court seeking to have Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, convicted and sent to prison on contempt of court charges after defying a 14-day High Court ultimatum compelling him to re-imburse his seized $78 900 cash.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Mangwiro’s money was seized by police sometime in 2012 as an exhibit, but last month, Chombo was personally given an ultimatum and ordered to ensure Mangwiro was paid back.
In his founding affidavit, Mangwiro said he had been forced to approach the court to have Chombo convicted and sent to prison in order to force him to abide by the court order.
“The respondent (Chombo) is already declared to be in contempt of the court order HC4261/16 because the respondent was clearly warned in the same order that his failure to comply with the same, he will automatically be declared to be in contempt of the same court order,” he said.
“It is now against this background that I brought this present application before this court against the respondent in his personal capacity, for this wanton disregard of this honourable court, to be held and found guilty of the orders of this court and be sent to prison.”
In his judgment last month, Justice November Mtshiya ruled in Mangwiro’s favour and ordered Chombo to ensure the order was immediately complied with.
“The respondent (Chombo) is ordered and directed to comply with statutory duty cast upon him in terms of Section 5 (2) of the State Liabilities Act that is to cause to be paid out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund, the sum of money awarded to applicant by the order of this honourable court dated February 18 2015 in case number HC4766/13, judgment number HH-147/15,” Justice Mtshiya ruled.
“The respondent is ordered and directed to comply with the order in the above paragraph (1) within 14 days of this order having been served on him, or his permanent secretary, or any responsible person in his ministry, failing which, the respondent be and is hereby declared to be in contempt of this order.”
For failing to comply with the court order in time, the court also slapped the Ministry of Home Affairs with costs of lawsuit, which, according to Mangwiro’s lawyers, had ballooned to $3 000.