FORMER Cabinet Minister Ignatius Chombo, on bail over a slew of corruption-related charges wants his passport back temporarily to travel to South Africa for medical attention.
Chombo, through his lawyer Mr Tungamirai Muganhiri, filed an application before Harare regional magistrate Mr Ngoni Nduna, but the State led by Mr Shepherd Makonde, wanted Chombo to prove to the court that the treatment he requires is not locally available.
Mr Makonde also argued that Chombo should have indicated that he needed to regularly visit South Africa for medical attention when he initially applied for bail.
“It is submitted that accused person has failed to discharge the onus upon him to show that the relief he now seeks is necessary and in the interest of justice.
“It is submitted that the application lacks bona fides.
“There is no explanation why the accused could not place before the court at his initial bail application that he required to travel to South Africa regularly for specialist medical treatment. It is also submitted that there is no confirmation that the required treatment is not available in Zimbabwe,” said the State.
The State said the risk on Chombo’s absconding was high despite him having offered another set of title deeds as surety for the temporary release of the passport.
“The accused has offered in his submissions to surrender another set of title deeds in exchange of the temporary release of his passport.
“While such an offer is attractive, it amounts to inviting the court participate in a barter trade, which something a court cannot do,” he said.
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