Chombo's bail conditions relaxed

HARARE - A Harare magistrate yesterday relaxed former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo’s  bail conditions to allow him to tend to his farm in Mashonaland West.

Chombo, detained by the military before Robert Mugabe resigned as president, was granted bail by the High Court last month on a slew of corruption charges, including trying to defraud the central bank in 2004.

He had been ordered to report three times a day, from Monday to Friday, at Marlborough Police Station.

Harare magistrate Josephine Sande yesterday altered the reporting conditions to once a day after the former minister pleaded that he needed time to do farming and fend for his family.

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.

“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 their 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 his family.”

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 $5 000 bail after spending days at Chikurubi Maximum 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 convicted.

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’s resignation. He told the court that he was kept blindfolded for nine days after being arrested at his home on November 15. 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 detention.

Comments (1)

Which family does he want to fend for?He looted enough money and resources that can last his lifetime without working.

Janana Bikaz Madhogodhogo - 11 January 2018

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