Concerted efforts by the Sheriff of the High Court to arrest Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, who is set to serve a 90-day prison term for contempt of court, hit a brick wall on Tuesday this week after the minister’s security personnel denied the court officials access to his office.
Chombo was last year slapped with a jail term after failing to comply with an order compelling him to pay $78 900 confiscated from Mutare businessman Tendai Blessing Mangwiro by THE police in 2012.
This week the Sheriff visited Chombo’s offices at Mukwati Building in Harare with a view to effect an arrest, but their efforts were thwarted by his security personnel claiming the minister was attending a Zanu PF politburo meeting which apparently was conducted on Wednesday.
In the return of service dated July 18, 2017 gleaned by NewsDay Weekender, the Sheriff said: “First attempted execution: Failed to arrest the respondent (Chombo) who was said to be engaged at the politburo (meeting) at the Zanu PF headquarters and was barred by security personnel to physically check his office and corroborate such fact.”
The businessman is also seeking to recover over $1,5 million confiscated by the law enforcement agents during the same year and the High Court has already ruled in his favour compelling Chombo to pay back the money which was seized as an exhibit before the businessman was absolved of any wrongdoing.
After being convicted and jailed by High Court judge Justice Amie Tsanga last year, Chombo filed an appeal at the Supreme Court which he later withdrew, thereby, granting Mangwiro an opportunity to push for his incarceration.
Mangwiro has endured a prolonged legal battle with the police and just recently, approached the Constitutional Court seeking confirmation of the invalidation of the State Liabilities Act which he said was protecting government officials from complying with court orders.-amh