Wednesday, 5 August 2020

CHIHURI STAGED VEHICLE AUCTION SCAM : COURT HEARS


FORMER police commissioner-general Augustine Chihuri has been sucked into an alleged staged vehicle auction sale in which he reportedly aided an ex-officer in charge of transport records office, Vusimuzi Ncube, to corruptly acquire two cars, the High Court has heard.

This was revealed in opposing papers filed by head of Criminal Investigations Department (CID) assistant commissioner Chrispen Charumbira, police commissioner-general Godwin Matanga and Home Affairs minister Kazembe Kazembe after being sued by Ncube.

Ncube filed an application at the High Court seeking an order for the release of the two vehicles that were seized by the police.

 In their responses, Charumbira and Matanga claimed Ncube used his influence as officer in charge of transport and in connivance with former police boss Chihuri to allocate himself the cars.

They claimed that Ncube was responsible for maintenance of records of all recovered vehicles subject to disposal, receipt of all purchased, donated and forfeited vehicles.

“Using his privileged position and in connivance with Chihuri and Robert Tendero Masukusa, he simply allocated himself the State vehicles which he converted to personal use without paying any value for the two vehicles,” read Charumbira’s affidavit which was later withdrawn with costs.

“Applicant never attended any auction viewing as the vehicles were at his workplace. The registration of the vehicles does not confer title to the applicant as the property belongs to ZRP.”

According to Ncube, sometime in January 2015 the ZRP auctioned cars at their Craneborne Workshop in Harare and Ncube purchased a Land Rover Freelander and Mazda Capella.

On May 29, 2018, Ncube was called by an officer from Charumbira’s office to bring the cars to CID headquarters because there were details to be verified.

The Mazda Capella was in Bulawayo and delivered to the CID offices there, while the Land Rover was taken to the Harare office where they were subsequently seized.

Ncube claimed that when he made efforts to recover his cars, the police told him they were being held as exhibits in cases of theft and criminal abuse of office.

Ncube said Charumbira and Matanga ought to have affirmed to him in writing that investigations relating to the case which had caused his cars to be seized were actively being pursued without undue delay. 

He argued that since he was not issued with a notice of continued retention after expiry of the prescribed 21 days and no prosecution initiated, he had lawful right to recover the cars from the police. Daily News

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