A Harare magistrate has postponed the trial of former Zanu PF bigwig Ignatius Chombo accused of criminal nuisance after wearing regalia associated with the ruling party following his expulsion.
Senior magistrate Hosea Mujaya postponed the matter to May 10 pending the outcome of his application for permanent stay of proceedings in the Supreme Court Chombo is jointly charged with Kudzanai Chipanga, Matthew Muleya and Munyaradzi Hamandishe.
The quartet is represented by Lovemore Madhuku, who confirmed the May 10 date is by consent. It is the State’s case that on an unknown date to the prosecution team but sometime between December 8 and 13, Chombo and his accomplices allegedly hatched a plan and connived to commit an act of criminal nuisance.
“The quartet, well knowing they have been expelled as Zanu PF members, acted in common purpose and took pictures of themselves while wearing Zanu PF regalia in form of hats with embroidered Zanu PF flag inscribed ED and Kutonga Kwaro,” the State outline says.
It is alleged that Chombo and his accomplices went on to post their images clad in the Zanu PF regalia on social media.
According to the State, this was likely to create a nuisance to Zanu PF. The accused were subsequently arrested and according to the State, they had no right to act in the manner they did.
After pictures of the four wearing party regalia circulated, Zanu PF quickly castigated the images describing their publication as criminal.
Meanwhile, Chombo who is facing other charges ranging from criminal abuse of office, fraud, violating the Prevention of Corruption Act amongst others, separately appeared before the same court where two of his cases were remanded to the same date.
The former Finance minister is facing criminal abuse of office charges amongst others.
Amongst the offences, Chombo is being charged with violating Section 4 (a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16) by allegedly conniving with Local Government ministry employees to forge documents used to transfer a Glen Lorne residential property under the Harare City Council to a certain individual.
In another case, Chombo is being charged with criminal abuse of office and fraud with the State saying his activities prejudiced it of $3,6 million.