Former police Commissioner-General Augustine Chihuri has been given back his properties that were targeted for forfeiture.
He allegedly sold five properties in 2017 and 2018 when the state launched investigations on how he acquired his wealth. The move was perceived as a strategy to unload assets that would incriminate him in corruption scandals.
Chihuri who is believed to be based in Johannesburg is being accused of side-tracking US$32 million of public funds into family companies and buying properties during the 25 years he was at the helm of the police force.
The State is seeking to freeze Chihuri’s companies and the properties, pending the final outcome of possible criminal investigations and civil lawsuits.
Chihuri’s lawyer Addington Chinake, however, persuaded Justice Pisirayi Kwenda to set aside two orders on the unexplained wealth case that had been previously granted to the state. This has ensured that Chihuri retained his properties which have been a subject of a bitter court battle.
Justice Pisirayi Kwenda, however, granted State’s counter application which means the state can bring evidence to persuade the court why Chihuri must forfeit his properties to the state.
Based on the latest judgment, Chihuri is now supposed to explain in more detail the involvement of the police in the companies that got money from the police.
Court papers say a mansion in Gletwyn, sitting on 30 acres of land valued at US$7 million is among the properties that need explanation.