Sigh of relief for Chihuri

Augustine Chihuri

THE Supreme Court has struck off the roll an appeal by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) seeking an order for forfeiture of former police boss Augustine Chihuri’s properties.

The State is seeking an explanation on how Chihuri managed to secure his wealth, but the High court dismissed its requests.

The Supreme Court has further derailed the State's efforts to get back the allegedly stolen US$32 million after ruling that its application was not in order.

Chihuri is accused of embezzling million dollars of State funds which he purportedly siphoned to five companies connected to his friends and family.

The companies, his children and wife were cited as respondents in the appeal.

It is alleged that the five companies received nearly US$32 million to supply goods and materials to the police.

A three judge panel comprising Justices Susan Mavangira, George Chiweshe and Joseph Musakwa struck off the roll the State’s application citing that the State’s grounds of appeal were defective and their filed papers were not in order.

The State, represented by Chris Mutangadura, said the State would file another application correcting the current mistake.

The State is seeking to forfeit some of Chihuri’s properties including houses and motor vehicles in the hope of recovering US$32 million allegedly lost through his alleged corrupt practices.

The matter spilled into the courts after the then prosecutor-general, Kumbirai Hodzi checked with the Deeds Office and established the rushed disposal of assets by the Chihuris.

This resulted in him being granted powers to freeze the properties and assets.

The State alleges that on July 17, 2018, Chihuri’s wife, Isobel Halima Khan Chihuri sold stand 1421 Gletwyn Township which was walled, gated with a borehole, water tank, tank stand and wooden cabin to Brian Chijaka for US$130 000.

Her brother Aitken Khan had her power of attorney to make the transaction, reads the application.

On March 21, 2018, Khan sold 8 St Aubin’s Chisipite in Harare on behalf of the owner, Chihuri’s daughter Samantha to Erinah Muchingami for US$365 000.

The property, measuring 9 094 square metres has a four-bedroomed house, also gated and walled.

The state is also seeking answers on the sale of five properties that were part of the family’s large property portfolio despite that they had been placed under the Asset Management Unit.

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