ZANU PF politburo member and Lands deputy minister Tendai Savanhu is still to surrender a Hwange Colliery Toyota Land Cruiser that he used when he was the company’s board chairperson a month after the Supreme Court upheld a High Court ruling ordering him to surrender the vehicle.
The Supreme Court in May this year dismissed an appeal by Savanhu after the High Court ordered him to return the vehicle that was allocated to him during his tenure as non-executive board chairperson of Hwange Colliery from 2006 to 2011.
Savanhu was allocated the Land Cruiser in July 2011, but was removed from the board a month later.
He has since refused to surrender the vehicle despite it being registered in the company name.
In an interview with the Zimbabwe Independent on Wednesday, British businessman and property magnate Nicholas van Hoogstraten, whose company Messina investments holds a 15,09% shareholding in Hwange Colliery, said it is shocking that a government minister is refusing to abide by the laws of the country.
“We do not know what will be done because a senior government official is refusing to follow the rules. The courts instructed him to hand over the vehicle, but we understand he is still using it,” Van Hoogstraten said.
“He is a government official, (perhaps)he knows why he is behaving like that,” he said.
Savanhu approached the Supreme Court on the basis that he had entered into an agreement of sale with the company.
He argued that Hwange should sell the vehicle to him because other directors had previously been allowed to purchase vehicles allocated to them when they left.
But Supreme Court Judge Veneranda Ziyambi said Savanhu had no right to retain the vehicle as there is no proof he had entered into any contract with the company.
The court ruled that Michael Majuru, Savanhu’s lawyer, was wasting his time on issues that did not arise at the High Court which ordered Savanhu to return the vehicle.
Ziyambi ruled: “The matter is hereby dismissed with all costs as the application has no merit, the appellant (Savanhu) is hereby ordered to pay the legal costs involved in this matter.”
In an interview, Savanhu said whoever wants to know the issue concerning the vehicle should approach the Hwange Colliery board.
“No one, even shareholders, should ask me about the vehicle. Those who want to know should ask the board,” he said.