Anti-graft boss' trial begins

HARARE - Former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s alleged corruption case has resurfaced in a court hearing involving Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) commissioner Emmanuel Chimwanda.

Chimwanda is accused of contravening the Official Secrets Act and criminally abusing his office.

Chimwanda, through his lawyer Jonathan Samukange, denied the allegations, arguing they are “malicious, vindictive and baseless”.

He is accused of supplying dockets and information to four MDC officials — Thabani Mpofu, Warship Dumba, Felix Matsinde and Mehluli Tshuma — who have since appeared in court facing charges of impersonating the police, possessing articles for criminal use and breaching the Official Secrets Act.

Chimwanda is further accused of providing the four MDC officials with information pertaining to
on-going investigations about Chombo’s abuse of office allegations.

Prosecutor Michael Reza alleges that Chimwanda also connived with the four officials and compiled a summary of offences against Attorney-General Johannes Tomana.

Chimwanda denied supplying the four officials with the alleged information.

“He will state that when he was appointed commissioner, (Dr) Chombo, the then minister of Local Government was already being investigated by a committee set up by the City of Harare. He will state that there were a number of documented allegations against (Dr) Chombo for corruption. The allegations are still pending,” Chimwanda said in his defence outline.

Zacc chairperson Denford Chirindo who testified yesterday, said he only read about Chimwanda’s case in newspapers.

“I have no personal knowledge of the allegations against the accused,” he said.

However, Samukange said his client had done nothing wrong, considering that the Act he is being accused of contravening has to do with threats to national security and the identification of an enemy. Chirindo said the State had to do with his organisation’s integrity.

Chirindo said according to the Public Service Commission and Zacc’s regulations, an employee was not supposed to disclose secrets or information about on-going investigations before the matter has been finalised in courts.

He said Chombo’s issue was not supposed to be disclosed before the finalisation of the matter, which he said is still pending.

He said the disclosure of on-going investigations would result in the general public making unfounded conclusions.

Samukange asked Chirindo to read a fact sheet pertaining to investigations about Chombo and his alleged fraudulent sell of council land.

Chirindo reluctantly read the fact sheet after Harare magistrate Hosea Mujaya ordered him to do so.

According to the fact sheet, Chombo sold a piece of land in Glen Lorne, Harare yet he did not officially acquire the place from the Harare City Council.

Samukange said he did not see where the knowledge of the investigations by the general public was a threat to national security, as is stipulated under the Official Secrets Act.

The trial continues today.

Comments (3)

corruption in zim has reached its apex its a shame that its done in the name of partriotism. shame !!! not proud to be azimbabwean.

RAY MAKONDO - 5 September 2013

The judges themselves are corrupt.. with the exception of the one who ordered the investigation on these ZANU ministers corrupt activities then he himself was removed... so much for "upholding" the law...

Inini - 6 September 2013

Is this Chimwanda the guy who refused to swim in the commssioner's pool after he refused to shoot at MDC supporters in Bikita during a by election there? If he is then I know him to be a man of integrity.

maita - 6 September 2013

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