Police ordered to return 'exhibit money'

HARARE - The High Court has ordered police to return over $78 000 “exhibit money” confiscated from a Mutare man after his arrest on theft charges in 2008.

Tendai Mangwiro lodged an application to recover his money following his 2012 acquittal at the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.

In the application, Mangwiro, through his lawyer Rungano Mahuni, cited commissioner-general of police Augustine Chihuri, officer in charge CID suspects, Harare Central Police Station and one detective inspector Mukambi as respondents.

“…it is ordered as follows, that the defendants jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved pay the plaintiff the sum of $78 900.

“That defendants jointly and severally, the one paying the other to be absolved pay interest at the prescribed rate from the 25th of January, 2013,” High Court judge Joseph Musakwa ruled on Wednesday.

Mangwiro applied for a default judgment after the police failed to file a response to challenge his request.

“It is also common cause that although the defendants filed a special plea to the claim, they were subsequently barred for not pleading over to the merits.

“It is surprising that those who legally represent the State and those personnel presiding over State institutions are lax when it comes to litigation. A simple act of filing a defence to a claim that has serious financial implications to the fiscus went begging by failure to adhere to court rules,” Musakwa said.

The application arose following Mangwiro’s prosecution and acquittal in January 2013. Following the acquittal Mangwiro gave notice in terms of the State Liabilities Act (Chapter 8:14) in March of the same year.

He claimed that the police had “unlawfully and unprocedurally” released the money which had been seized from him to Andre Nsaka Nsaka, who was the complainant in the criminal matter.

“It is evident that the cash in question together with some motor vehicles were not exhibits before the regional court,” Musakwa said.

 

Comments (1)

as we have always said our police are the worst thieves in this country,they probably stage crimes in this country willy nilly release criminals to remain relevant ..

chihombori - 20 February 2015

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