Fidelis Munyoro Chief Court Reporter
Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, who is facing a litany of corruption charges, and fired Zanu-pf youth leader Kudzanayi Chipanga yesterday had their bail appeal hearings postponed to today.Chombo and Chipanga were arrested following the political stabilisation intervention code named “Operation Restore Legacy” last month, targeting “criminals” around former President Robert Mugabe. Justice Edith Mushore deferred the appeal hearings challenging the magistrates’ court decision last week denying the duo bail pending trial, after the prosecution requested for sufficient time to make its response.
This is the second time the court has postponed hearing the two appeals. Last week another judge Justice Clement Phiri deferred the hearings to yesterday at the behest of the prosecution. Chipanga is facing charges of making statements undermining public confidence in the military.
Among the serious charges Chombo is facing are 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.
Prosecuting, Mr Edmore Nyazamba alleged 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 Ms Josephine Sande on charges of violating Section 4 (a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16).
They were granted $300 bail last Friday and remanded to December 8. The pair was advised to report twice at Machipisa Police Station and not to interfere with State witnesses.