BY CHARLES LAITON
Transport and Infrastructure Development minister Joel Biggie Matiza and the Vehicle Inspection Department (VID) have been taken to the High Court by a Harare man, Hazangwi Phillip Peter, who is claiming ZW$350 000 as compensation for his vehicle which was impounded and auctioned by the VID.
Peter recently issued summons citing the VID, Matiza and VID depot manager, one Chikungwa, as respondents in the lawsuit.
In his declaration, filed alongside the summons, Peter said his vehicle, a Nissan Vannette registration number ADP 6614, was impounded on May 30, 2016 by VID officers after being considered not roadworthy.
Peter further said on July 16, 2016, his vehicle was inspected and some minor defects were noted after which he was issued with a notice to bar the vehicle from being driven on the roads until the noted defects were attended to.
However, on the following day when he went to collect his vehicle, he was told that he could only do so after paying storage fees for the duration that the vehicle had been in the custody of the government department.
Peter vehemently denied payment of storage saying it was unlawful, arguing that the VID was the one that had impounded his vehicle to satisfy itself on whether the vehicle was roadworthy or not.
“Plaintiff denied the payment of storage and the defendants (Matiza, VID and Chikungwa) subsequently sold the motor vehicle,” he said.
Peter said the unlawful conduct of the government officials in discharging their duties resulted in him losing his motor vehicle as well as loss of business since he was using the same for hiring on a daily basis.
“Wherefore the plaintiff claim for damages in the sum of ZW$350 000 being ZW$50 000 for replacement value of the motor vehicle and ZW$300 000 for loss of business,” he said.
All the cited respondents are yet to enter appearance to defend. NewsDay