By UK Correspondent
FORMER ZRP boss Augustine Chihuri secured some relief Tuesday after the High Court gave him back a luxury Harare mansion valued at US$7 million.
Chihuri, reportedly now based in South Africa, is accused of stealing some US$32 million in public funds while at the helm of the country’s police service.
He was head of the ZRP for some 25 years before being sacked after backing the losing side in the 2017 military coup which brought President Emmerson Mnangagwa to power.
Chihuri initially moved to Malawi but is now understood to be based in Johannesburg, South Africa.
His vast wealth was placed under management in 2020 after the State slapped him with unexplained wealth orders which required explanation of the sources of his various businesses and properties.
However, in a High Court ruling delivered Tuesday, Justice Pisirayi Kwenda varied the orders, directing the return of some of Chihuri’s property.
The property included the luxury Gletwyn mansion which reportedly features 16 en-suite bedrooms, seven lounges, nine garages, a helipad and a fishing dam.
Chihuri had denied owning the property in 2017, warning that; “Let the nation be warned that police will not fold hands in dealing with those misusing social media to settle their issues.”
Meanwhile, also returned to the former ZRP chief were five vehicles, several houses as well as equipment for his two farms in Chinhoyi and Shamva.
Chihuri’s lawyers led by Harare attorney Addington Chinake, had wanted the judge to consider the validity of the unexplained wealth orders.
The State accuses Chihuri of using his authority as head of the police to fleece million of dollars in public funds which were channeled to five companies linked to family members and relatives.
The companies reportedly received US$32 million to supply various goods and materials to the police.
Chief law officer and head of assets forfeiture unit Chris Mutangadura represented the State in the case.