A High Court Judge has granted the application made by Former Cabinet Minister, Ignatius Chombo’s, to have his passport released after a Magistrate Court had dismissed the application in September this year.
Chombo made the application on the grounds that he has to travel to neighboring South Africa where he needs to visit his doctor as he has a ‘life-threatening’ medical condition.
The former cabinet minister who was represented by Professor Lovemore Madhuku and Tungamirai Muganhiri’s plea for his passport to be released was granted on condition that he surrenders the title deeds for his Marlborough property as surety.
Chombo was ordered to return the passport on 3 December.
The 67-year-old former minister is facing a cocktail of criminal charges before the Magistrate’s Court.
On one of the charges, he is accused of intentionally depriving a Joyce Munamati who was the acting provincial Registrar for Manicaland province of a property she was trying to purchase.
It is alleged Munamati was in a relationship with one Fred Kanzama, former member of Parliament for Mutare South constituency which resulted in the two having a son out of wedlock.
During the same year, Munamati occupied Kipling road property in Mutare being a government house, which was reserved for provincial Registrars for Manicaland province, it is alleged.
On march 1 2002 , Munamati then signed a lease agreement which was entered between her and the then Ministry of Local Government , Public Works and Urban Development at Mutare Provincial public works office for the occupation of the house.
Sometime in 2007, Joyce submitted an application to purchase the property to the then Acting Provincial Public works officer Manicaland under the then Ministry of Local Government ,public works and urban development.
The application was forwarded to the secretary of the local government , public works and urban development with no objection to the request Chimba objected to the request citing shortages of rented accommodation to purchase the property.
The state heard that Kanzama who was not a civil servant having knowledge that Munamati’s application was turned down approached Chombo and expressed his desire to purchase the property and Chombo then gave verbal instructions to chimba that he had to sell the property.
Further chombo and his co-accused acting in common purpose gave instructions to one Shingairai Chekure to complete an account opening the sheet in the name of Kanzama to facilitate the payment of the property and both accused persons entered into an agreement of sale with Kanzama at a cost of ZW$70 trillion which was duly paid.
On another charge, Chombo is accused of violating Section 4(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16) by allegedly conniving with Psychology Chiwanga, Rejoice Pazvakavambwa, Iben Fransisco, James Chiyangwa, Theresa Chenjerayi, Elias Choto and Lazarus Chimba to forge documents used to transfer a Glen Lorne, Harare, property from the Harare City Council to Alois Chimeri.
It is the State’s case that the duo acted in connivance with Chombo, Chiwanga, Francisco, Chiyangwa, Chenjerayi and Choto.
Allegations are that on a date unknown to the State, Chimba wrote a memo dated June 13, 2008 to the City of Harare, indicating he had no objection to a double transfer of a property in Glen Lorne to Chimeri.
He also did not object to Chimeri being given title deeds to the said property, which had been acquired illegally and sold to him by Chombo.
According to the State, Chimba also influenced Harare City Council to illegally get compensation for the said piece of land, which had been sold by Chombo.
Pazvakavambwa, it is alleged, authored another document on June 25 the same year addressed to the City of Harare, confirming the property had been sold to Chombo.
Pazvakavambwa, who is the deputy director of valuations and estate management in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Chimba (70), who is the registrar of valuers, have since been arrested as Chombo’s accomplices.
They are accused of facilitating the transfer of council property worth over $900 000 into Chombo’s name. They appeared before Harare magistrate Josephine Sande on charges of violating Section 4 (a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16).