Supreme Court Upholds Ruling in Favor of Mayor Wadyajena, Orders Return of Seized Vehicles
10 July 2024
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By A Correspondent| In a pivotal legal development, the Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has dismissed the Zimbabwe Anti Corruption Commission (ZACC) appeal against a lower court ruling that favored Justice Mayor Wadyajena, a prominent businessman. The appeal had sought to overturn a decision mandating the return of a fleet of vehicles seized by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) from Mayor Logistics (Private) Limited, a company associated with Wadyajena.

The Supreme Court’s decision, which was made on procedural grounds, highlighted the NPA’s non-compliance with Rule 55 (5) of the Supreme Court Rules (2018), which requires the payment of security costs. Due to this oversight, the appeal was deemed abandoned and dismissed under Sub-rule (6) of Rule 55.

This ruling reinforces a previous judgement by the High Court, which found that the vehicles, including 23 haulage trucks and a Lamborghini SUV, had been unlawfully held by authorities. The vehicles were initially seized in August 2022 in connection with allegations that Wadyajena and several executives from the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe (Cottco) defrauded the company of USD 5.8 million. The charges against Wadyajena and the other accused—Cottco officials Pious Manamike, Maxmore Njanji, Fortunate Molai, and Chiedza Danha—were dropped before plea last year, leaving the possibility open for the State to re-initiate trial should new evidence emerge.

Justice Tawanda Chitapi of the High Court had earlier ruled that the extended seizure of Wadyajena’s property was unlawful, as the authorities had failed to apply for an extension beyond the initial 30-day period granted in August 2022.

The Supreme Court’s dismissal of the NPA’s appeal marks a significant victory for Wadyajena in his prolonged legal battle with ZACC. The judgement not only restores his assets but also underscores the importance of procedural compliance in legal proceedings.