Police in soup for impounding $1,5m maize

HARARE - The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) has approached the High Court challenging an order to pay $90 300 in damages to a company that had 22 of its trucks containing maize worth $1,5 million from Zambia impounded at Chirundu Border Post by the law enforcement agency.

In the application for rescission of judgment, the police cited as respondents two companies that were transporting the maize, Holbud Limited and Sporrow Hauliers (Private) Limited, which trades as J & J Transport.

According to police law officer Musutani Chifamuna’s affidavit, when an order for the release of the trucks was made by consent, the complainants had stated they will not pursue damages.

But the companies’ lawyers said there was no way a definite deal could have been made with police given that the company owner was at that time in Mecca for the annual Islamic pilgrimage.

The police officer said: “I was surprised when I received a phone call from (Mr) Shumba of the Civil Division of the Attorney General’s office advising that a default judgment had been granted in the case HC7416/17. I contacted the respondent’s legal practitioner who acknowledged our last conversation and advised that he was not aware that a default judgment had been applied for and obtained.

“He suggested that it could have been one of his fellow lawyers who applied for the judgment. It was then agreed that we should file the current application and if need be have the matter heard on merits,” Chifamuna said.

Events leading to the current litigation emanate from a maize import agreement between Holbud general manager Roopak Bhadra, the Grain Marketing Board (GMB) and the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ).

Bhadra said that his company had to go to court, because it had an agreement with the GMB and had an obligation to deliver the maize to the national granary’s silos in terms of the contract.

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