HARARE – Harare businessman Bigboy Pachirera has formally filed a lawsuit against embattled retired police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri amid claims that the former police boss impounded five of his cars and later changed ownership into his name.
Pachirera has listed Chihuri, his wife Isabel and their company Kidsdale Enterprises as respondents to his claim of compensation and damages of $2 968 000 incurred after his vehicles and property was impounded causing him to lose business. Pachirera gave harrowing experiences of how he and his family were subjected to endless torture by members of the police Homicide department after becoming Chihuri’s “target” in 2013.
According to Pachirera, in 2014, Chihuri then allegedly formulated theft of motor vehicle charges and held the businessman’s wife hostage to induce him to release some of his cars.
“All the cars that they claimed to have been stolen I had personally bought them from Zimoco here in Zimbabwe. They all had records, my Mercedes Benz ML 350 Formatic and Jeep Cherokee and the three trucks I used in my road construction business.”
In summons he has filed, Pachirera is claiming return of property and damages of $2 968 000 from Chihuri and his wife arising from the alleged criminal activities.
In a letter dated December 5, 2017 that was delivered to Chihuri’s Chishawasha Hills residence and private business offices in Harare, Pachirera’s lawyers — Mahuni Gidiri Law Chambers — demanded the damages and property to be returned.
“On or about December 22, 2013 you caused the unlawful arrest of our client on allegations of theft. At all material times you knew very well that our client had not committed any offence against you . . . after his release from custody, you ordered the police to harass our client and his family and engaged services of CID Frauds and Homicide to rob and steal our client’s property,” reads the letter.
“You ordered that our client’s several motor vehicles be taken to the Vehicle Theft Squad section for verification on whether or not they had been stolen. You and the police caused the change of name on all the motor vehicles into your name(s) and Kidsdale Enterprises a company owned by you.”
Pachirera claims that he lost business after heavy duty trucks that he used to earn a living from were also held and transferred into Chihuri’s ownership.
“The value of the property that you deprived our client amounts to $470 000 and $50 000 for the Highfield home . . . he was earning $1 000 in rentals from that property and has lost income of $48 000.”
Pachirera’s lawyer Rungano Mahuni claims that no action was taken by Chihuri since receiving that letter and they have resorted to courts for reprieve.
The businessman told the Daily News that he could not speak openly about the issue fearing for his life because of threats that he received from the police over the issue.
“My residence was kept under police surveillance, each time I went out, police would follow me. I got to a point where two armed police officers displaying guns roamed about 100 metres from my residence. I think it is because of the God’s grace that I am alive today,” Pachirera said.