HARARE – A Mutare businessman, whose $78 000 was seized by police following his 2008 arrest on theft charges, is demanding that Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo be sent to prison after he failed to comply with court orders sanctioning the release of the money.
High Court judge November Mtshiya over a fortnight ago made a ruling for the re-imbursement of $78 900 to Tendai Mangwiro following his application for mandamus, demanding Chombo to act in terms of his duties and facilitate the release of the money.
Mangwiro, who was cleared of the theft charges in 2012, said that since an order for the re-imbursement of the money was given over a year ago, Chombo has not acted in terms of the directive.
Mtshiya ruled that Chombo must comply with the court order and act in terms of his statutory duty cast upon him in Section 5 (2) of the State Liabilities Act (Chapter 8:14), but has failed to comply with the directive, prompting the current application for contempt of court.
“It is now against this background that brought this present application before this court against the respondent (Chombo) in his personal capacity, for his wanton disregard of this honourable court, to be held and found guilty of contempt of the orders of this court and be sent to prison,” Mangwiro said.
He said Chombo must have complied with the court order without delay.
“In my case, the respondent has no pending litigation against me, they unsuccessfully sought to rescind the order in case number HC4766/15 and since that time they have never done anything except frustrating me by refusing to pay me my money without any legal reasoning,” he said.
He further said that his constitutional rights to access the courts will remain an illusion if court orders are not enforced.
“Respondent’s non-compliance with the court orders made against him does not only show his disregard of the judicial system, but places himself above the laws of this country and this is also a clear testimony of insubordination by the respondent,” Mangwiro said, adding that Chombo thinks he is immune to prosecution.
In his court papers, Mangwiro said that the police seized his money and wrongly released it to the then complainant Andrea Nsaka Nsaka.