Tarisai Machakaire 9 January 2018
HARARE – A HARARE magistrate has postponed to tomorrow a ruling on an
application by former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo to have his bail
conditions relaxed to allow him to attend to his farm in Mashonaland West.
Although prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba had not objected to Chombo’s
application, magistrate Josephine Sande instructed the State to put the
communication in writing.
Chombo made the application through his lawyers, Lovemore Madhuku and
Tungamirai Muganhiri, to be allowed to report once a day at Marlborough
Police Station from Monday to Friday between 0800 hours and 1700 hours.
Currently, Chombo is reporting at the same precinct three times a day. In
his application, he said he was now a full-time farmer.
“At the time of the original bail hearing, he (Chombo) had just vacated
office as a Cabinet minister by operation of law.
“He was not re-appointed to Cabinet. He now has to depend on his farming
on a full-time basis,” argued his lawyers in the bail application.
“His farm is in Rafingora. This is a drastic change of circumstances. The
applicant has a constitutional right to keep his life intact and fend for
It was further argued that other persons who may qualify as Chombo’s
co-accused were subsequently arrested and granted bail on less onerous
conditions and that the State has not completed its investigations within
the period it originally undertook and has not strengthened its case in
any manner thereafter.
Chombo was released on a $5000 bail after spending days at Chikurubi
Maximum Security Prison.
The former Zanu PF secretary for administration is facing a slew of
charges that could potentially earn him a combined 55 years in prison if
He is being charged with criminal abuse of office, contravening the
Prevention of Corruption Act and fraud with the State saying his alleged
activities prejudiced it of $3,6 million.
Chombo, 66, was seized by the military in the early hours of November 15
in an operation which led to former president Robert Mugabe being placed
under house arrest and later led to his resignation.
He was released into the custody of the police on November 23 and was
rushed to hospital for treatment on injuries he claimed were sustained
during the time he was in military detention.