Pressure mounts on Chombo

HARARE - A Mutare businessman who has been battling to recover his money that was illegally taken by police in 2008 has stepped up his fight to have Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo arrested.

Tendai Mangwiro on Monday wrote to the Sherriff and registrar seeking to have Chombo seized for ignoring the court orders compelling him to release his money confiscated by police during his arrest nine years ago.

Chombo was last November slapped with a 90-day prison sentence after he failed to facilitate the release of part of the money, $78 900 — with Mangwiro separately also winning another High Court order compelling the minister to further release $1,5 million which was also forcibly taken from him by police at the time of his arrest.

Mangwiro is still fighting tooth and nail to recover more than $1,5 million despite the courts ordering the release of his money.

“Reference is made to your letter dated the 13th of November 2016…which you wrote to us after you were instructed by the registrar of the High Court to execute the court order in terms of Order 43 Rule 392 of the High Court Rules on the 11th of November 2016.

“In light of the respondent (Chombo)’s appeal withdrawal and the copy of this letter, may you please expeditiously execute the court order as you were previously furnished by the High Court registrar,” Mangwiro’s lawyers Mahuni and Mutatu Legal Practitioners wrote to the sheriff on July 17.

The lawyers copied the letter to the High Court registrar, asking him to act on the court order for Chombo’s arrest.

“We are startled by your failure to execute the court order…upon receipt from the Supreme Court of the returned record in question. This is in light of the respondent’s withdrawal of his Supreme Court appeal (case No. SC 673/16) dated the 22nd March 2017…

“By copy of this letter may you please expeditiously furnish the sheriff or his deputy, or a constable or other peace officer with the…court order which is already a writ of personal attachment and committal to prison of the respondent in terms of Order 43 Rule 392 of the High Court Rules as we previously requested,” Mangwiro’s lawyers said.

Chombo was slapped with a 90-day jail term last year by High Court judge Amy Tsanga after he failed to release Mangwiro’s money despite a ruling ordering the police to do so.

He had appealed against the contempt of court conviction, before he withdrew the application, which prompted Mangwiro to take the current route.

The registrar has since written a letter to the sheriff confirming that indeed Chombo’s appeal was withdrawn on March 22, 2017.

Mangwiro has been in a prolonged legal battle with the police to recover his money, which also resulted in him seeking an order for the court to strike off the State Liabilities Act from the country’s statutes.

The repeal of the Act will allow owed litigants to attach government property.

High Court judge Edith Mushore has since ruled that the Act is unconstitutional but had erroneously referred the matter to the Constitutional Court for confirmation of the order, resulting in the matter being struck off the roll last week by the highest court in the land on procedural basis.

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