Man challenges warrant of search, seizure

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Tarisai Machakaire

A HARARE man has approached the High Court challenging a warrant of search and seizure issued against his Mercedes Benz car believed to be at the centre of a fraud storm in  which flamboyant businessman Joseph Tazvi Mhaka was allegedly duped of US$14 000.

Basil Mapako cited Police Commissioner General Godwin Matanga, Onward Mutipidzi and Harare magistrate Judith Taruvinga as respondents in the matter.

The court heard that Mapako bought the car as a third party after it had been offered as payment for residential stands by Mhaka to One Thousand Construction Company director, Joseph Murimwa.

Mhaka is alleged to have paid an extra US$1 500 on top of the said Mercedes Benz in exchange for stands in Belvedere West and Ruwa and later discovered that he had been duped.

After Murimwa appeared in court police discovered that the car was now in the hands of Mapako and sought a warrant of search and seizure which he is now contesting.

“The transaction between Murimwa and Mhaka was a contract of sale in which valuation of assets was done to reflect figures.

When I purchased the  vehicle after ownership had passed …. I assumed ownership rights to the vehicle,” Mapako said.

“I submit that I have nothing to do with the dispute between the parties and as such a warrant of search and seizure issued to take my vehicle away is without basis at all and an abuse of court process.”

Mapako argued that the court had an option of making an order for Mhaka to be compensated the amount he lost if Murimwa is convicted without impounding his car.

“There can be no doubt that individuals and society suffer at the hands of criminals.

“But there can also be no doubt that in the absence of a system which limits the State’s power by protecting substantive rights like the rights to property and the rights to dignity, individuals and society will suffer at the hands of State officials,” added Mapako.

Mapako said the issued warrant did not meet requirements set at law as there was no explanation why the car should be seized by the police and for what cause.

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