Embattled former Police Boss Augustine Chihuri is fighting back the government’s decision to freeze his assets as he says he was a successful businessman and a farmer and worked in Zimbabwe for 37 years as an explanation for his swathe of properties in Zimbabwe, New Zimbabwe reports.
Chihuri in his court papers argued that the asset freeze has left him unable to feed his family:
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This is really a war of attrition in order to wipe my family and dispose of all means of livelihood we have worked for over the years. By freezing all properties and assets, we have been cruelly strangled and we cannot survive on a day-to-day basis.
Chihuri also explained his vast wealth and he said he started farming before the land reform and he had other business ventures and has a track record to prove it:
I personally ventured into business in 1996. The then CBZ CEO Gideon Gono knows how I started the company because I borrowed from his bank in order to start my company.
The company Kidsdale Enterprises started operating in 1996 to 2017. The company operated successfully and was contracted by the Ministry of Transport, Rural Development, (local) councils, and even the Ministry of Mines.
We later operated a bakery and collected rentals from some of the properties we later sold, which have been bundled in this collection of properties
My family started farming before the land reform programme major crops, maize and horticulture, potatoes, garlic, onions, tomatoes, and fish farming since 1993 – 2017 annually realising substantial profits.
As an A2 farmer for 19 years starting 2001 annually without fail, we grew not less than 300+ hectares of maize, not less than 150 hectares of soya beans and about 100 hectares of wheat.
We also grew not less than 50 hectares of seed maize annually. In 2008 up to 2017, we embarked on fruit farming, 20 hectares of banana, and seven hectares of paw paw for about 10 years non-stop and the produce was remarkable.
The farm sold not less than 100 cattle annually, a breeding process that was thriving. We also sold 70 to 80 sheep and 100 goats to the local Indian community.
Again because of the circumstances, these efforts have been derailed. Surely in an independent Zimbabwe can I be punished for refusing to participate in a coup? Being a successful farmer, successful business person all because of personal scores from the powers that be
Chihuri also explained he had a job with the Interpol and he also accumulated wealth through his salary, bonuses and services and savings from foreign trips and backpay:
..there I was remunerated in foreign currency for serving in those capacities for six years. I have been gainfully employed, in this period and have built the assets through diligence and hard work
The state is seeking to forfeit Chihuri’s properties on the basis that they were used to siphon public funds and or were bought using public funds.
More: New Zimbabwe