Chombo, Chipanga regalia trial deferred

HARARE - The trial of former Zanu PF bigwigs Ignatius Chombo, Kudzanai Chipanga and Munyaradzai Hamandishe — charged for wearing regalia associated with the party —  was yesterday deferred to August 2.

The trio is facing charges of criminal nuisance.

Their trial could not kick off yesterday because of a pending determination of an application for stay of prosecution lodged by Chombo  in the High Court.

Chombo and Chipanga were represented by Tungamirai Muganhiri while Hamandishe is represented by Emmanuel Samundombe.

“Proceedings in Chombo’s case will affect the other accused persons and this matter cannot kick off before the High Court makes a determination on an urgent chamber application he filed. May this matter be moved to the same date as the other records,” Samundombe said.

It is the State case that on a date unknown to the prosecution team sometime between December 8 and 13, Chombo and his accomplices, while acting in common purpose with Matthew Mleya who is still at large, allegedly hatched a plan and connived to commit an act of criminal nuisance.

“The quartet well knowing they are expelled Zanu PF as members acted in common purpose and took photos of themselves while wearing Zanu PP party regalia in form of hats with embroidered Zanu PF flag inscribed ED and Kutonga kwaro,” the State outline read.

It is alleged Chombo and his accomplices went on to post their images clad in the aforementioned party 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 the pictures of the four wearing the party regalia circulated, Zanu PF quickly castigated the images describing their publication as criminal.

“It has come to the attention of the party, Zanu PF, that images of a clique of expelled Zanu PF members of the G40 cabal namely; ... Chombo, ... Chipanga, ...Hamandishe and another person wearing regalia emblazoned with features depicting the president and first secretary of the party, Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa, are widely circulating on a number of social media platforms,” Zanu PF spokesperson Simon Khaya Moyo said in a statement.

“The party wishes to make it clear that these expelled members have no entitlement to representing it and neither do they have the right to represent the president and first secretary in any form. These truant individuals are obviously bent on soiling the good name of the party and that of its president and first secretary."

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