Vice-President Kembo Mohadi and several former government officials have been taken to the High Court by a Zimbabwe Peace Project (ZPP) employee, Pascal Gonzo, who wants them charged for contempt of court after failing to pay him US$80 000 in abduction damages.
BY CHARLES LAITON
Gonzo was in early December 2008 abducted together with his workmate Broderick Takawira and ZPP director Jestina Mukoko for allegedly plotting to topple the late former President Robert Mugabe’s administration through recruiting people to undergo military training in neighbouring Botswana.
At the time, Mohadi was co-Home Affairs minister with Giles Mutsekwa.
According to court papers, Gonzo, Takawira and Mukoko’s whereabouts remained unknown until December 24, 2008, when they first appeared before the Harare Magistrates Court, after weeks of being held incommunicado and being tortured. They were eventually acquitted.
Sometime in November 2019, the High Court ordered the State to pay Gonzo US$80 000 for unlawful arrest and detention, assault, shock, pain and suffering and costs of suit.
But despite the consent order, Mohadi, Mutsekwa, and their co-defendants who included Patrick Chinamasa, Didymus Mutasa, Augustine Chihuri, Paradzai Zimondi, Happyton Bonyongwe and other top police officers failed to implement the order, prompting the current application.
“This is an application for an order holding respondents (Mohadi and others) to be in contempt of court, and bind them over to purge their contempt within a given time frame, failing which a warrant for the committal of their persons to jail may be issued until they purge such contempt,” Gonzo said.
According to Gonzo, the consent order was issued on November 6, 2019 when the amount ought to have been paid within 30 days from October 28, 2019 being the date upon which the parties entered into a deed of settlement to that effect.
“The judgment debt remains unsatisfied despite the lapse of the 30-day period within which it ought to have been settled. There can be no doubt that respondents have knowledge of the judgment, it having been entered into by consent and in view of the deed of settlement entered into between the parties,” he said.
“There can be no doubt that respondents are aware of their obligations to me (Gonzo) and have the necessary details to enable them to fulfil their obligations, but are just unwilling to do so despite the existence of an order by consent directing them to effect the payments in question.”
The matter is pending.