Chombo, Mutare businessman case in new twist

HARARE - Mutare businessman Tendai Blessing Mangwiro’s lawyers have written to the High Court registrar demanding a ruling in an urgent chamber application filed by Home affairs minister Ignatius Chombo seeking to block his arrest on contempt of court charges. 

Mangwiro is battling to recover $1,5 million and a further $78 900 confiscated from him by the police in 2008 following his arrest on theft charges, before he was acquitted in 2012.

Despite a High Court ruling that Chombo be jailed for 90 days for failing to comply with an order instructing him to facilitate the release of the money, nothing happened, forcing Mangwiro to make another application pushing for the minister’s arrest.

Chombo had to rush back to court late July on an urgent basis to evade being jailed, claiming he had complied with the order.

It is that application that awaits ruling, which has prompted Mangwiro’s lawyers to write to the High Court registrar.

“The judgment in the above matter was scheduled for handing down on the 10th of August by his Lordship justice (Charles) Hungwe.

“On the said date, we were advised that the honourable judge had been unable to deliver it by the set date and were told to await advice of its availability. To date we have not been advised of anything.

“It is common cause that on the hearing date of this urgent chamber application, the provisional relief sought by applicant (Chombo) was granted by consent with the parties moving to argue the final relief so as to expedite the disposition of the matter.

“This was done on the understanding that this matter was extremely urgent and had taken needlessly long to finalise.

“We advise that the need to urgently dispose of the matter has never been as profound as it is now and enquire whether the ruling has been handed down as yet so that we can be guided on how to proceed,” Mangwiro’s lawyers Mahuni Gidiri Law Chambers said in the letter dated September 1, 2017.

In the application, Chombo cited the Sheriff for Zimbabwe, Mangwiro and his lawyers Shelton Mahuni and Valentine Mutatu, as respondents.

After the matter was heard before Hungwe, Mangwiro’s lawyer Rungano Mahuni, who had instructed Tazorora Musarurwa to argue the case, said that the parties agreed that Chombo will not be arrested pending the determination of his application.

Mangwiro, responding to Chombo’s application said that the minister had demonstrated that he is in wanton disregard of court orders.

He said contrary to Chombo’s claims that he had complied with the court order by writing a letter to the Finance ministry to release the funds, this was not good enough because compliance to Mangwiro entailed having his account credited with the money.

Mangwiro said that allowing Chombo to get away with his actions will set a bad precedence, adding that the minister must be jailed until he complies with the order.

The Sheriff has previously failed to arrest Chombo after he was protected by security personnel at Zanu PF headquarters where he was attending the party’s politburo meeting, which prompted Mangwiro to appeal to commissioner general of police Augustine Chihuri and director general of the Central Intelligence Organisation Happyton Bonyongwe for assistance.

Comments (1)

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