THE High Court has granted interim relief stopping the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) from executing search warrants on the National Indigenisation and Economic and Empowerment Board (NIEEB) and the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC).
– Staff Writer.
In its application to stop the search, NIEEB, which also cited police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri and Attorney-General Johannes Tomana as respondents, sought a provisional order stopping ZACC from executing the search warrant obtained from the same court on Monday pending determination of the matter.
ZACC had obtained a search warrant from the High Court to search and seize certain documents from the offices of three government ministers — Mines minister Obert Mpofu, Indigenisation minister Saviour Kasukuwere and Transport minister Nicholas Goche.
The three are alleged to have been involved in corrupt deals.
NIEEB, which falls under Kasukuwere’s portfolio, was represented by lawyer Gerald Mlotshwa of Titan Law Chambers while ZACC was represented by the AG.
NIEEB chief executive Wilson Gwatiringa, who deposed the affidavit, argued ZACC acted ultra vires its own enabling Act to exercise power it does not have. He said the commission caused the higher court to issue a search warrant in circumstances where the judge concerned did not have the power to do so in view of the section of the law relied upon.
He said execution of the illegal search warrant would disrupt NIEEB’s operations and irreparably prejudice the successful execution of the indigenisation programme.
Gwatiringa added NIEEB had a right to protection of the law in circumstances where a party such as ZACC acts in clear violation of its own enabling Act as well as the Criminal Procedure and Evidence Act (CPEA).
The search warrant was obtained after its investigators were reportedly denied entry to conduct searches at the three offices. The search warrants were obtained in terms of Section 50 (1) of the CPEA. In his ruling, Justice George Chiweshe ruled that the search warrant issued by the High Court on March 11 is null and void and consequently of no force and effect whatsoever.
Meanwhile, sources said officials could be arrested over the issue. The body will be in court today over a labour.