Attempts by the Zimbabwe National Road Administration (ZINARA) to confiscate a vehicle from its former employee have hit a snag after court ruled the intention was not legitimate.

High Court judge Justice Webster Chinamhora ruled that the former employee, Gift Kanotangudza had paid for the vehicle through vehicle taxes before he resigned in 2019.

Kanotangudza, was Zinara’s Information Technology manager.

When he was employed, he signed a contract agreeing that he would receive a motor vehicle with an option to purchase it four years later.

After he resigned, Kanotungudza went away with a Toyota Hilux twin cab.

According to court documents, before the legal battle ZINARA wrote to him demanding the vehicle back.

ZINARA said he did not serve the company for four years as agreed so could not hold on to the car.

In response, Kanotangudza said when he resigned, he had exercised his contractual right to purchase the vehicle.

He also submitted that he worked for Zinara from 2010 to 2019, effectively giving him the right to purchase the vehicle.

Court heard that ZINARA should have contractually issued him with a vehicle in 2014, but it was only given to him in September 2016.

Yet, despite not issuing the vehicle for two years, ZINARA continued to deduct vehicle tax benefits from him from June 2016 to September 2016.

The judge ruled evidence before him proved that Kanotangudza was the rightful owner.

“I am satisfied from the evidence before me that the respondent has, on a balance of probabilities, established a right of retention of the vehicle based on clause 6 (b) of the contact of employment and the conduct of the parties.

“In this respect, the deduction of vehicle tax benefit from June 2014 to September 2016 (which is not denied by the applicant) seems to me to be a tacit acceptance by the applicant that the period of eligibility to purchase the conditions of service date would be calculated from that date. Any other interpretation would be absurd.

“In the result; it is ordered; the application be and is hereby dismissed,” he ruled.