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Chihuri must explain wealth, PG insists

Former police boss Augustine Chihuri must not be allowed to use his feud with President Emmerson Mnangagwa to evade justice, prosecutor-general (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi has argued.

Hodzi was responding to an appeal by Chihuri against an unexplained wealth order issued by the same court as part of a process to seize the ex-top cop's business empire, which the government says was built through proceeds of corruption.

In his appeal, the exiled former cop said moves to forfeit his wealth were motivated by Mnangagwa's determination to fix him over personal differences that started during the liberation war.

Chihuri claimed the president snatched his then-pregnant wife and tried to force her to abort the child.

"The relationship between the head of state and the first applicant has nothing to do with the unexplained wealth order neither did it influence the first respondent (Hodzi) in seeking an explanation from the applicants as to their interest in US$32 million and their illicit enrichment," Hodzi argued in the court papers.

Chihuri said Mnangagwa hounded him out of the police force after he refused to support the 2017 coup that toppled long-time ruler Robert Mugabe.

The PG, however, said the issues that the ex-Zimbabwe republic Police (ZrP) boss raised had nothing to do with the legal processes to force him to account for his wealth.

He said allegations raised by Chihuri against his successor Godwin Matanga, including that he had no ordinary Level qualifications, were irrelevant and did not make sense.

"It is incredulous for him to accuse his former deputy of 20 years tenure of being unqualified for such a lofty job when he was the one who appraised him annually for the stewardship of the administration department of the police," Hodzi added.

"It is equally ironic to note that having had four deputy commissioners since his tenure as head of the ZRP, the first applicant presided over the retirement of other three deputies, who included Messrs Black, George Kundeya and Ngwenya, whilst remaining with deputy commissioner Matanga till his retirement, the first applicant now casts aspersions on the competence and moral probity of his successor simply because he is now faced with an unexplained wealth order."

Hodzi insisted that the High Court should uphold the unexplained wealth order against Chihuri so that he explains the source of his money.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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