Chombo, ex-Zanu PF youth leaders trial deferred

Prosper Dembedza Court Correspondent

Harare magistrate Mr Christopher Maturure yesterday deferred the trial of former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, former Zanu PF youth leaders Kudzanayi Chipanga, Innocent Hamandishe and Mathew Mleya on criminal nuisance charges to March 3 after mutual consent between their lawyers and the State.

Allegations are that on a day unknown to the prosecution in Harare between December 8 and 13, 2017, Chombo, Chipanga and Hamandishe, acting in common purpose with Mathew Mleya, who is still at large, connived to wear party regalia emblazoned with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s initials although they had been expelled from Zanu PF.

They took photographs of themselves while wearing the regalia, including hats with an embroidered Zanu-PF flag, inscribed “ED” and “Kutonga Kwaro”.

The court heard that the four then posted the said photographs on social media.

According to the State, the Zanu PF leadership saw this as a nuisance.

Chombo, who is facing a plethora of corruption charges, also appeared on his own and had all his cases deferred to the same date.

In one of the cases, it is being alleged that on October 1, 2005, Chombo hatched a plan to defraud the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) under its “Other Crops and Livestock Support Facility”.

Chombo allegedly applied for a loan amounting to $14 billion which was to be repaid within 18 months and indicated his address as Allen Grange Farm, Rafingora.

Chombo misrepresented that he was going to use the loan to buy agricultural equipment. The equipment included a 30-tonne lorry valued at $2 billion, 30-tonne truck valued at $1,5 billion, 200hp tractor four-wheel drive valued at $2,5 billion, combine harvester valued at $5 billion, 52 dish roam disc valued at $1 billion, nine row monosem planter valued at $1,2 billion, 2x500kg chicken feed mixer valued at $8 million.

The court heard that Chombo abused the money and it was investigated and established that he had imported various motor vehicles, including a Toyota Hilux Vigo for socialite Pokello which was delivered at 222 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare.

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