HIGH Court judge Justice Clement Phiri has ordered Finance minister, Patrick Chinamasa, his permanent secretary and paymaster-general, to garnish the Obert Mpofu-led Home Affairs Ministry’s account and compensate Mutare businessman Tendai Blessing Mangwiro, whose $1, 5 million cash was seized by police in 2012.
This came after Mangwiro won several court orders to reclaim his money following his acquittal on the criminal charge levelled against him, but police could not account for the money.
On April 4 this year, the parties appeared before Justice Phiri who instructed Attorney-General (AG) advocate Prince Machaya, to advise Home Affairs minister, Obert Mpofu, to ensure Mangwiro was refunded.
“The application for the garnish order is hereby granted. The second and third respondents (Chinamasa and secretary and paymaster-general) are hereby ordered to garnishee first respondent’s (Home Affairs’) vote remaining under 2017 budget (Appropriation Act) together with all the monies which are State funds but currently and continuously being retained by first respondent’s various departments under his Ministry of Home Affairs to settle the following court orders HC4766/13 of February 2015 and HC466/13 of August 17, 2016 together with the Sheriff’s costs and to forthwith transfer the same moneys into the bank account of the Sheriff,” Justice Phiri said.
“Should the same not satisfy the court orders granted under case number HC466/13 and the Sheriff’s costs, the first respondent’s future 2018 budget allocation vote be and is hereby garnished in order to satisfy the above mentioned court orders.”
The judge further ordered that the Home Affairs ministry’s 2018 budget would also be affected if the 2017 budget balance was not enough to reimburse Mangwiro.
“The first respondent and his ministry are hereby forthwith restrained from receiving any money remaining from the vote allocation for his ministry under 2017 Appropriation Act and 2018 Vote under the 2018 budget together with the current and the future retentions of all State funds payable by the State and Ministry of Home Affairs until the above mentioned court orders are satisfied,” he said.
Justice Phiri warned Chinamasa could be charged with contempt of court if he defied the order.
Sometime last year, Mangwiro had a protracted legal wrangle with former Home Affairs minister, Ignatius Chombo, who eventually was slapped with a 90-day prison term for defying the court orders. Chombo later relented and wrote to the Finance ministry asking them to pay the money, but the AG is said to have stalled the move by opposing Mangwiro’s garnishee application.
Mangwiro was represented by lawyer Tinashe Thomas of Mahuni and Gidiri Law Chambers.