Police chief summoned over seized Merc

A HARARE man Panashe Elisha Mandimutsira has summoned Zimbabwe Republic Police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga over the seizure of his Mercedes Benz C180 vehicle he lent to Milton Murairwa, an officer stationed at ZRP Support Unit, Chikurubi, last year.

Murairwa, who is Mandimutsira’s friend, according to court papers, borrowed the car for a week for undisclosed personal use in January.

He, however, fell on the wrong side of the law while driving the said vehicle, prompting his arrest and subsequent confiscation of the car.

Mandimutsira is seeking an order compelling Matanga to release and return his vehicle without delay as he calls the seizure and impoundment of his car unlawful and wrongful.

The second respondent is the Police Service Commission while Murairwa is cited as the third respondent.

“On January 30, 2020, the first respondent (Matanga) arrested the third respondent (Murairwa) who is a police officer on the allegations that he failed to execute his duties properly and in the process of his arrest seized my vehicle which the third respondent was using at the time,” read the court papers filed recently.

“I confronted the third respondent so that I could take back my vehicle, but he told me that the first respondent’s officers refused to release the vehicle and no reasons were given except that I will collect the vehicle after his matter is completed by their court in terms of the Police Act.

“When my vehicle was seized by the first respondent’s officers, I was not issued with the seizure form as per the dictates of the law and no reason was advanced to me after I went to the officer in charge for CID Homicide which had seized my vehicle.

“It is now close to two years after my vehicle was seized by the first respondent before it could be released to me.”

According to Murairwa’s charge sheet, he is being charged with two counts, improperly performing duty and acting in an unbecoming manner likely to bring discredit to the police service. 

He is alleged to have wrongfully and unlawfully assaulted two occupants at a Waterfalls home in Harare for failing to open the gate for him.

Murairwa is also alleged to have abused his authority by demanding US$20 000 from the occupants-cum- complainants for alleged illegal possession of 27 tonnes of fertiliser meant for Command Agriculture. 

Instead, he was allegedly given US$12 000, a conduct which was described as unbecoming and likely to bring discredit to the police service.

“To be honest I do not know how the police tribunal will assist me to get my vehicle and why the first respondent links my vehicle to the police tribunal. My vehicle did not commit an offence at all and there is no justification why it should be held by the first respondent’s officers,” submitted Mandimutsira.

Matanga is yet to respond to the lawsuit.