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HomeNewsSupreme Court Dismisses NPA Appeal, Upholds Release of Wadyajena’s Seized Vehicles

Supreme Court Dismisses NPA Appeal, Upholds Release of Wadyajena’s Seized Vehicles

The Supreme Court of Zimbabwe has upheld the lower court’s ruling to return a fleet of vehicles seized from Justice Mayor Wadyajena, dealing a significant blow to the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA).

The legal saga began when the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) seized a fleet of 23-tonne haulage trucks and a Lamborghini SUV from Mayor Logistics (Private) Limited, a company associated with Wadyajena. This action occurred in August 2022 during an investigation into allegations of defrauding the Cotton Company of Zimbabwe of US$5.8 million. However, the charges against Wadyajena and five others were dropped before a plea was entered, leading to questions regarding the lawful basis for continuing to hold the seized vehicles.

In a judgment delivered by Justice Tawanda Chitapi of the High Court, it was determined that the continued seizure of Wadyajena’s property beyond the initial 30-day period, without an extension application, was unlawful. This ruling paved the way for Wadyajena to reclaim his vehicles, a decision that was reinforced today by the Supreme Court’s dismissal of the NPA’s appeal.

The Supreme Court’s decision rested on procedural grounds, specifically citing the NPA’s failure to comply with Rule 55(5) of the Supreme Court rules (2018), which requires the payment of security costs for appeals. As a result, the appeal was deemed abandoned and subsequently dismissed under Rule 55(6).

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This ruling marks a significant legal victory for Wadyajena, who has been entangled in a protracted legal battle with ZACC over the seized vehicles. The dismissal of the NPA’s appeal underscores the importance of adhering to procedural rules in Zimbabwe’s legal system and affirms the High Court’s earlier determination that the continued retention of Wadyajena’s property was unjustified.

The implications of this decision extend beyond the immediate return of Wadyajena’s vehicles, setting a precedent for future cases involving asset seizure and the application of procedural safeguards. Wadyajena, a prominent businessman and politician, expressed satisfaction with the Supreme Court’s ruling, emphasizing the importance of upholding legal standards in protecting individuals’ rights against arbitrary state actions.

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