Chombo accused of demanding shares

HARARE - Woes continue to mount for ex-Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo after he was dragged to court on fresh corruption charges yesterday.

Chombo is facing a slew of charges relating to some of the transactions made during his tenure as Local Government minister.

The State insists millions of dollars were misappropriated, as a result of his alleged abuse of office.

In the latest case, Chombo appeared before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba charged with criminal abuse of office.

This was after he allegedly demanded a 25 percent shareholding from a Chirundu-based fish farmer who had approached his office seeking the release of title deeds for a property he was leasing.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba alleged that in 2001 the complainant, Chargan Vithal Rama, got a 60-year lease to stand number 554/547 Chirundu Fish Farm, expiring in 2054.

Rama intended to practice fish farming on the farm and, in 2007, after he had made developments worth $500 000 on the property, he ran out of money and approached banks for funding.

The court heard that banks needed surety in the form of title deeds for the land on which fish farming was being practiced.

It was alleged that Rama’s brother Amrat Vithal who had been a councillor in Chirundu arranged a meeting with Chombo to persuade the then Local Government minister to facilitate release of the title deeds for Rama to qualify for loans.

The court heard that Chombo advised Rama to meet him at his residence along Mazowe Road to discuss the issue.

In February 2008, Rama, Amrat and son Vinodhai went to Chombo’s house on a Sunday and presented their request before being told that title deeds could be released on condition that they would declare 25 percent share of their business.

Chombo reportedly made it clear that 25 percent was for his facilitation of the issue of title deeds and Rama advised the minister that he would consider the condition and get back to him.

It was alleged that Rama never returned to Chombo and he caused withdrawal of the businessman’s lease illegally before giving verbal instructions to his subordinates to allocate Glory Boost (Private) Limited the same lease.

According to the State, Chombo had no right to issue instructions to the deputy director State Lands to allocate the farm to Glory Boost and showed favour.

After the State applied for bail yesterday, the prosecutor did not oppose Chombo’s admission to bail and applied that he continues abiding by conditions that were imposed on him by the High Court in previous matters.

Chombo is on $5 000 bail with conditions to report once a day at Marlborough Police Station, surrender passport and continue residing at his present address.

Chombo is already facing another similar case, in which property developer Eddies Pfugari is a complainant, the State alleged that sometime in 1997 Pfugari purchased White Cliff Farm from Fredrick John William Smith and the property was transferred under Deed of Transfer number 10444/2000.

The court heard that prior to acquisition of the property, government had a certificate of “no present interest” in respect of the land and Pfugari was granted a subdivision permit.

Pfugari subsequently divided the farm into residential stands and began selling to prospective home owners.

Sometime in 2000, Chombo used his authority and allegedly allocated the residential stands to illegal settlers within Pfugari’s property.

According to the State, Chombo’s conduct disrupted a lawful housing scheme, he abused his office and acted unlawfully.

Pfugari subsequently lost property valued $200 million.

It was further alleged that Chombo appeared to be sympathetic to Pfugari for his loss and reportedly invited him to his office assuring him he would remove the illegal settlers from his land.

Chombo claimed he would use his political muscle on condition that Pfugari gave him a consideration or reward in the form of a piece of land from his property in Norton where he was selling residential stands.

Since Pfugari was desperate at that time he gave Chombo stand number 5841 Knowe Norton measuring 3 712 acres valued at $310 150.

Pfugari was advised to transfer the stand into Ronchelle Trading (Pvt) Ltd a company whose directors are Nimrod Chiminya(Chombo’s brother) and Kumbirai Mubwandarika under Deed of Transfer number 10761/02.

The shelf company was allegedly bought and used specifically for this transaction.

Comments (1)

This is just the tip of the iceberg. Anyone thinking kuti haisi Zanu yese that's corrupt is mistaken. Chombo's only crime is he belongs to the wrong group. If Mpofu belonged to G40 imagine the stories we'd be reading pano? ZANU must be vanquished. We need to start afresh.

Moe Syslack - 17 February 2018

Post a comment

Readers are kindly requested to refrain from using abusive, vulgar, racist, tribalistic, sexist, discriminatory and hurtful language when posting their comments on the Daily News website.
Those who transgress this civilised etiquette will be barred from contributing to our online discussions.
- Editor

Your email address will not be shared.