Con-Court hears Chombo's bid to halt criminal action

HARARE - THE High Court is tomorrow set to hear an application to permanently halt criminal proceedings against former Finance minister Augustine Chombo, charged on suspicion of corruption, including trying to defraud the central bank in 2004 and being a criminal nuisance. 

Chombo, a staunch ally of former president Robert Mugabe, has said in his application he was illegally detained after the military seized power in “Operation Restore Legacy”, and kept blindfolded for nine days after being arrested at his home on November 15 in 2017.

He claims he was assaulted  when he was held incommunicado in army detention.

The former minister — whose prosecution was temporarily shelved last year pending the hearing of the constitutional application for stay of proceedings — is arguing that his constitutional rights were infringed when he was detained illegally.

“I am making this constitutional application in terms of section 85 (1) (a) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013, seeking a declaration by this honourable court in exercise of its jurisdiction in terms of Section 171 (1) (c) of the Constitution. As an appropriate relief in respect of the aforesaid infringements, I am seeking an order permanently staying my criminal prosecution,” he said in his application.

He gave a narration of the events that took place on the day he was arrested.

“At around 1am in the morning of the 15th of November 2017, I was awoken by loud noise. My wife woke up and wanted to establish what had happened. After some moments, a second explosion occurred. Immediately thereafter, I heard crackling sounds at the kitchen door area, and then footsteps in the roof area. 

“The door in the bedroom to where we were was knocked down. I saw men in military uniform. They came and told me to lie down and a gun was pointed to my head. The same was told to my wife and housemaid.

“During my interrogation while blindfolded, the person guarding me would come in and identify himself as my ‘mother’ and on another day as my ‘father’, they would then ask me how I was doing and how my stay was. This was particularly traumatic for me because both of my parents had passed away,” he said.

According to the papers, Chombo said he wanted the court to determine whether or not the State, during his arrest, did not violate his constitutional rights when he was allegedly abducted by its agents, blind-folded for nine days and subjected to torture and other forms of inhumane and degrading treatment.


Comments (7)

By far the most corrupt Zimbabwean ever, if he doesn't go to jail no one else deserves to for corruption. These are the fools who destroyed our country.

James - 29 January 2019

He should ask Mai Cde Dr Marujata Gire to intervene on his behalf since he used to kneel before her. If she fails to do this then Cde Rtd Ambassador Perekedza Mboko can ask the court to set "my boy " free.

Argus - 29 January 2019

Every Zimbabwean, whether he or she is a teacher , a maid or a former government minister has a constitutionally guaranteed right to a fair trial. What happened to the minister Chomo is an outrageous violation of his rights and he has a very valid case before the highest court in the country. Let the justice prevail. I , through my business Augur Investments in Ukraine , have known Dr Chombo for many years and can attest that he is a person with the highest degree of integrity.

Ken Sharpe - 30 January 2019

you ken sharpe, please stop right there. you are in ukraine and you you have known to be a very integrial person? please i beg you, let justice take its course.

grace mubi - 30 January 2019

Ken Sharpe knows only too well that if Chombo goes down he will follow suit,

David - 30 January 2019

All that blubbering about targeting criminals surrounding the president by the military junta was just a lot of hot air.If the military junta can fast track the trial and conviction of hundreds of people (those that were arrested after the recent stayaway) within a week,what makes it difficult for the same judiciary system to prosecute and convict those that have looted national resources (most of them in the zanu pf govt are still looting from the comatose economy) with reckless abandon?It points out to the fact that no one is clean in the zanu pf govt.They all have very serious cases of corruption hanging on their heads.

Janana Bikaz Bikaldo - 30 January 2019

Chombo's alleged criminal activities which are by the way common knowledge should not be lost because of the barbaric treatment by poorly trained military. The biggest challenge is Police's inability to handle such high white collar crime due to lack of competence. The case has taken too long to prosecute one begins to wonder whether there is genuine will to see justice done or its just another 'catch and release' to peers.

Sinyo - 31 January 2019

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