Anti-graft boss confirms Chombo graft complaints

HARARE - Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) chairperson Denford Chirindo has said the anti-graft body received several corruption complaints against former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo.

Chirindo said this yesterday during cross examination in the trial of Zacc commissioner Emmanuel Chimwanda, accused of contravening the Official Secrets Act and criminal abuse of office.

Chimwanda, through his lawyer Jonathan Samukange, denied the charges, 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 investigations about Chombo’s alleged abuse of office.

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

In denying the allegations Chimwanda said when he was appointed a commissioner, Chombo was already under investigations.

Samukange had asked Chirindo the number of cases that had been reported against Chombo. He said: “We received several complaints and we tasked the investigation committee to investigate.”

Chirindo, who told the court that he did not have personal knowledge about Chimwanda’s allegations, however, said he cannot give an exact number of the cases that were reported against Chombo.

He further said an association of councillors carried its own investigations against Chombo, which the commission handed over to the investigations committee.

Among other allegations, according to a fact sheet read in court on Wednesday, Chombo was under investigations over an alleged fraudulent sale of council land in Glen Lorne, Harare.

Reza further alleges that in April last year, the commission was investigating a fraud case involving former Harare special interest councillor Charles Nyachowe.

It is alleged Chimwanda requested Nyachowe’s docket and provided the information to the MDC officials.
However, the investigating officer in the Nyachowe case Besten Matope said there was nothing unusual in Chimwanda requesting for the docket.

Matope said he had completed investigations in the case and had found no incriminating evidence against Nyachowe.

Another witness Alex Masiye, who is the commission’s chief investigating officer, said there was nothing criminal about him getting Nyachowe’s docket.

Samukange said his client had not contravened the Official Secrets Act, since the clause only applies to issues to do with national security.

The trial continues next Thursday.

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