Tuesday, 29 March 2022


 FORMER Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri abused his public power as head of the police to prejudice the State of large sums in public funds channelled to five companies linked to his family and relatives, the High Court heard yesterday as it considered the validity of the unexplained wealth orders served on Chihuri.

The five companies received US$32 million to supply certain goods and material to police.

Chihuri is challenging the validity of unexplained wealth orders granted to the State against him and the State is counter applying for Chihuri to explain how he disposed of five houses under investigations.

The five properties, which include a magnificent mansion in Gletwyn comprising 16 bedrooms all en-suite, seven lounges, nine garages, a helipad and fishing dam all sitting on a 12ha of land valued at US$7 million – were part of the family’s large property portfolio.

The five properties were sold to people with no connection to Chihuri and both parties legal counsel agreed these purchasers were innocent of anything wrong.

National Prosecuting Authority’s chief public prosecutor in charge of the Asset Forfeiture Unit, Mr Chris Mutangadura, told Justice Pisirayi Kwenda that there was no constitutional matter before the court..

Through his lawyer Mr Addington Chinake, Chihuri had disagreed saying the unexplained wealth orders had infringed his constitutional rights because when they were granted he was not given an opportunity to be heard first.

In his submission Mr Mutangadura said if the court decided to discharge the orders it must look into the context of how they were granted by the same court.

He said there was no constitutional case to talk about because the application for the orders was ex parte and simply asking for an explanation.

“In those applications we were simply saying that the applicant (Chihuri) together with his co-applicants were engaged in activities we regard as unlawful or criminal. Our averments are born out of facts revolving around the disbursements of public funds to companies related to the applicants and those funds are quite substantial amounting to US$32 million.”

He again urged the court to read the court applications that were made for the UWOs and see how the background of the case was ably stated that Chihuri together with his wife and relatives were required to explain their wealth.

As this juncture, Mr Chinake objected to Mr Mutangadura line of submissions saying he could not be allowed give evidence from the bar because he had no right to do so.

One of the points that Mr Chinake had made was that the applications for the unexplained wealth orders had never been served on his clients.

Mr Chinake asked Justice Kwenda to avoid the situation where the judge and the prosecutor would be privy to the contents of the application for unexplained wealth orders, while the people affected by the orders were “being kept outside the house”.

“How can they be guests in a court of law when they are not given the very documents that formed the granting of this application,” queried Mr Chinake.


“That is not justice my Lord! There is no court anywhere in the world wherein the prosecutor and judge share documents and then the defence is denied. That is not how courts of law operate.”

In his response, Mr Mutangadura said when Chihuri was served with the unexplained wealth orders, it was within his power to go and access the record of proceedings at the High Court’s registrar offices.

After hearing the submissions from both parties’ lawyers, Justice Kwenda reserved judgment to a later date.

The NPA has already been granted orders that freeze company and property assets, orders now being disputed by Chihuri, and is now seeking explanation of the sale of the additional properties.

The order, which the NPA obtained at the High Court, placed known family property in Zimbabwe under the management of the Asset Management Unit of the NPA.

This means the property and companies cannot be sold without permission of the courts. Herald


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