Businessman sues Chinamasa

HARARE - Mutare businessman Tendai Blessing Mangwiro — who is frantically fighting to recover his money confiscated by police following his arrest on theft charges in 2008 — has dragged Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa to the High Court seeking an order to compel the Treasury chief to release the funds.

Mangwiro has won several court applications for the law enforcement agency to release $78 900 and a further $1,5 million impounded from him, but has not received a single cent yet.

The businessman launched the court battle to recover the money after he was acquitted in 2012.

However, upon demanding back his money from the police, he was advised that it had been handed over to the then complainant — Andrea Nsaka Nsaka.

In November last year, High Court judge Amy Tsanga ordered the jailing of Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo for 90 days, following his conviction for defying a court order demanding that he facilitates release of Mangwiro’s money.

However, Chombo filed a Supreme Court appeal challenging the decision.

He also argued that he had since purged the contempt through a letter written to Treasury in March last year requesting that the money be released in terms of the State Liabilities Act.

This has prompted Mangwiro to file the fresh application for a mandamus order, seeking to order Chinamasa to release the money, in terms of the request made by Chombo.

“These proceedings seek to compel the minister personally as the office bearer to take steps necessary to have the payments made from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

“His failure to do so will obviously be contemptuous of the order of this honourable court and at a later stage may/or will result in him being personally lodged to prison which could not happen if he is sued in his official capacity only,” Mangwiro said.

He further demanded Chinamasa must “comply with the order…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 (Chinamasa) be and is hereby declared to be in contempt of this order”.

Mangwiro said he has lost a lot of money paying lawyers to file court applications in his bid to recover the money, but to no avail.

“…I have no other option but to seek the assistance of this honourable court to compel respondent to execute his statutory duty cast upon him by the Public Finance Management Act in order to pay funds out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund as requested by the minister of Home Affairs (the judgment debtor),” he said.

Mangwiro has also challenged the State Liabilities Act after failing to find recourse, claiming it was being abused to avoid complying with court orders.

High Court judge Edith Mushore is yet to rule on the matter.

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