Chombo demands $310k bribe from landowner

Ex-Finance Minister Chombo

Ex-Finance Minister Chombo

Fungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter
Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo allegedly allocated residential stands to illegal settlers at Whitecliff Farm in Harare before demanding and receiving a bribe of a 3 712 square meter stand from the landowner to remove them.

The landowner Eddies Pfugari Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd lost property worth $200 million in the process. Chombo appeared before Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa and was remanded to January 8 next year on the same bail conditions he was granted on other corruption charges he is facing.

He is represented by Professor Lovemore Madhuku and is accused of contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act alternatively bribery. The complainant is Eddies Pfugari Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd represented by its managing director Mr Edward Nyanyiwa.

The prosecutor Mr Edmore Nyazamba is alleging that sometime in 1997 the complainant purchased White Cliff farm from Fredrick John William Smith. The court heard that all formalities were done and the property was transferred under Deed of Transfer number 10444/2000.

It is alleged that prior to the acquisition of the property, the Government had issued a certificate of no present interest in respect of the land. Eddies Pfugari Property Developers applied and was granted a subdivision permit. The court heard that the complainant subdivided the farm into residential stands and started selling them to home seekers.

Sometime in 2000, Chombo who was the Minister of Local Government, Rural and Urban Development, allegedly allocated stands to illegal settlers within the complainant’s property.

Chombo allegedly appeared sympathetic and invited Eddies Pfugari Property Developers to his office and assured them that he would remove the illegal settlers using his ministerial powers.

It is alleged that Chombo offered assistance on condition that he would be given a piece of land in Norton where the complainant was selling residential stands. The court heard that the complainant was desperate and gave up stand number 5841 Knowe, Norton measuring 3 712 valued at $310 150.

It is alleged that the stand was transferred into Ronchelle Trading (Pvt) Ltd, a company whose director is Nimrod Chiminya, Chombo’s brother. The court heard that Ronchelle Trading (Pvt) was bought and used specifically for the land transaction.

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  • fidel castro

    The only thief in town

    • Observer

      Make him an example to all.

  • Mimi

    That’s what Chombo was used to. Zimbabweans will not be surprised to learn that there are many more properties Chombo obtained using this method. All Councils where Chombo has properties should be clean enough to inform on how he (Chombo) amassed so many properties throughout Zimbabwe. And it’s not only Chombo who could have done this: there are many more individuals still out there. This should not be taken as a witch-hunt but a quest for looters to learn that crime does not pay. Those who looted should surrender the properties so that these are given to struggling Zimbabweans. There should be no sacred cows this time around. That is if the government of the day is serious and wants to be taken as such. Nxaa mhani!

    • John Zvidzayi

      The White Cliff Residents where disadvantaged by the project’s suspension for nearly 5 years whilst the construction equipment was locked up by War Vets. White Cliff residents where abused, harassed by illegal settlers of the White cliff namely “Tongogaras” who stole or grabbed building materials forcefully from legal residents holding who by then had already obtained Title deeds, yet the minister attending the matters was already fraudulently paid to move out the illegal settlers. Residents lost thousands of dollars, time and moral to the illegal settlers yet he was fraudulently paid. He was supposed to do his obligation without taking any bribe, maybe he also received a bigger bribe from illegal settlers probably thats why it took long to free the developer”s construction Equipment. A thorough investigation should be done and all parties concerned be consulted for this matter. Many cases of abuse of legal White cliff Residents by illegal settlers were reported to police and Chombo”s office but never attended to. In most cases the police claimed their hands are “tired” and cannot make an arrest because it was political and referred residents to Minister of Housing who sat on residents grievances. Pfugari even claimed to WRA that Chombo wanted to get all stands allocated for schools in Whitecliff and could only remove illegal settlers when he gets the stands hence he Chombo did not remove the illegal settlers until Operation Murambatsvina. Residents had to vigor it on their own till the Governors Honorable W Mangwende and D Karimanzira, Colonel MhakaYakora from the Department of Physical Planning, Cde Sibanda and members from the State security offices who were in the committee set up from the President’s office finally led to the eviction of illegal settlers. White Cliff residents would be so much happy if you make a thorough investigation Lacoste WEZHIRA.

  • Nhiyo

    Its pay back time for you Chombo (THE WEAPON OF CORRUPTION). Corruption does not pay. You were busy lining your pockets while the majority of Zimbabweans are suffering. Zvapera

  • DOCBOB

    How did Developer lose $2million ?

    • Zimbo1

      The other land occupied by illegal settlers at whitecliffe

  • James Dada

    Pakaipa!!!! Rinemanyanga hariputirwe.

  • Moe_Scyslack2

    Arrest Eddies Pfugari fool as well. If you pay mari yecorruption then you must be prosecuted as well.

    • Haranga

      In this allegation chombo used mafia way of operation. Where on earth was pfugari supposed to report? The same government in which chombo was a key player?
      Had Pfugari reported he would have lost everything. invaders would have simply erected party and national flags and parcelled out the entire farm. There are a lot of pfugaris out there who had to cooperate in order to get mafia approval/support/protection. This was/is rampant throughout the economy, the so called corruption

  • Guest

    Thank you Herald for keeping us posted on this guy’s corruption shenanigans

  • Viva

    Manyepo chete ayo.

  • MkanyaGP

    Vehicles

    4 Toyota Land Cruisers
    3 Mercedes Benzes
    1 Mahindra
    2 Nissan Wolfs
    1 Toyota Vigo
    1 Mazda BT-50
    1 Bus
    1 Nissan Hardbody
    1 Toyota Hilux

    Properties

    2 Glen View houses
    2 flats in Queensdale
    A property in Katanga Township
    Stand Number 1037 Mount Pleasant Heights
    4 Norton business stands
    3 Chinhoyi business stands
    4 Banket business stands
    1 commercial stand in Epworth
    2 residential stands in Chirundu
    4 commercial stands in Kariba
    1 stand in Ruwa
    1 stand in Chinhoyi
    2 stands in Mutare
    2 stands in Binga
    4 stands in Victoria Falls
    1 stand in Zvimba Rural
    Chitungwiza (two residential and two commercial stands)
    Beitbridge (four stands)
    20 stands in Crow Hill, Borrowdale
    10 stands in Glen Lorne
    2 flats at Eastview Gardens (B319 and B320)
    1 flat at San Sebastian Flats in the Avenues, Harare
    Number 79 West Road, Avondale
    Greendale house
    Number 36 Cleveland Road, Milton Park
    Number 135 Port Road, Norton
    2 Bulawayo houses
    Number 18 Cuba Rd, Mount Pleasant
    Number 45 Basset Crescent, Alexandra Park
    2 Chegutu houses
    1Glen Lorne house (Harare)
    2 houses (Victoria Falls)
    Stand along Simon Mazorodze Road
    Norton (one stand)
    Avondale (two stands)
    365 Beverly House (one stand)
    Bulawayo (three stands)
    Mica Point Kariba (one stand)

    • Tengenenge

      This guy should not be bailed at all. am sure he will soon buy fake passports and disappear

    • G Tichatonga

      If the list is indeed correct, what is wrong with owning all that?

    • Haranga

      And he is a Dr and was a university lecturer. Our universities seem to churn out people without ethics. The university that awarded him a doctorate (in whatever field) must be embarrassed by this alumni

    • Chihombori

      the question is ,if you keep someone for 15-20years in one ministry,achingodzoswa,vose vachiwirirana kuti chombo is doing a good job ,its not suprising that he aquired all those properties ,why i say this most directors in government also have quite a number ,which they used to get through the ministry of local government ,so if chombo was mnangagwas junior ,and he inturn a boss to the directors ..lets just order a full land ownership audit ..during the rhodesian era noone was to acquire more than 2 ,this even applied in zim in the 80`s and early 90`s ,so we should revert to the rule of limited properties per individual ,the benefit is that it enables equitable distribtuion of wealth ,than have people in zanu owning 27-50 houses how is this possible ????

  • G Tichatonga

    You are making an emotional statement – afford him a fair hearing and only then can you pass a verdict on him. It is not a crime to own properties if you invested in property whilst others chased women or other opaque projects.

    • zimba ngoma

      And the 10million US cash whilst people where queuing for as little $50 he must be one of Zimbabwe’s leading businessman then if he can own those properties genuine without steallin a cent just his govt pay too bad he failed to work his magic with the finan e ministry kkkk

  • Tarubva Chibva

    No doubt that valuation IN 1997 was in Zim$. Could be US$20K today but the key thing is that Chombo is alleged to have pressured Pfugari into parting with the stand.