Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Court Reporter
THE High Court has dismissed an urgent chamber application by a Bulawayo resident whose car was impounded by the Bulawayo City Council for allegedly pirating as a taxi.
Mr Maxwell Mujikwa, through his lawyers Mugiya and Macharaga Law Chambers, had filed an urgent chamber application at the Bulawayo High Court citing the Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo, the town clerk Mr Christopher Dube and the head of Bulawayo Municipal Police as respondents. He sought an order compelling the respondents to immediately release his car, a Honda Fit, impounded last month.
Justice Lawrence Kamocha ruled that the application was not urgent.
“The matter is not urgent and does not deserve to jump the queue. It is therefore improper to bring that matter asking the court to treat it as urgent. The applicant should proceed by other way but not as an urgent chamber application,” ruled the judge.
In his founding affidavit, Mr Mujikwa, said he was arrested by municipal police on 11 January while driving in the central business district and they accused him of operating a pirate taxi.
“I was arrested by the Bulawayo municipal police officers who accused me of committing several traffic offences. They suspected that I operated a pirate taxi business,” he said.
Mr Mujikwa said despite his innocence, he was forced to pay $480, which also included costs for towing the vehicle to the council pound.
“I had no choice because I was vulnerable and I ended up paying the unknown fines under protest. I expected to be given my car back but the head of Bulawayo Municipal Police said he wanted to teach me a lesson and refused to release my car,” he said.
Mr Mujikwa said he went to report the matter to the police who tried to engage the respondents but it actually worsened the situation.