Chombo,Chipanga bid for freedom

Chombo and ChipangaFungai Lupande Senior Court Reporter
Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo and ex-Zanu-PF youth leader Kudzanai Chipanga (pictured above) will appear in court today for their bail application after the duo unsuccessfully challenged their placement on remand on Saturday.

Chombo, the former Zanu-PF Secretary for Administration, and Chipanga, the former secretary for the party’s Youth League, argued that they were over-detained by State agents beyond the constitutionally prescribed 48 hours.

Harare magistrates Mr Elisha Singano and Ms Josephine Sande, who are presiding over the cases, dismissed the applications, saying there was no evidence to substantiate the claims. The magistrates said it was clear that the pair were in police custody barely 48 hours before being brought to court.

The prosecutor, Mr Edmore Nyazamba, is alleging that Chombo fraudulently forged documents that included a lease to acquire Subdivisions “K” Portion of Nthaba portion of Glen Lorne from City of Harare, where he is said to have signed and manufactured a fraudulent lease agreement on January 1, 1997.

City of Harare is said to have been prejudiced of $900 000. On the second count of criminal abuse of duty by a public officer, Chombo is accused of having received an application from City of Harare for a change of use for an open space in Helensvale into a residential area in September 2006.

He allegedly used his power as the Minister of Local Government to allocate it to a company he co-owns, called Harvest–Net Enterprises.

The property is worth $2,7 million. On the third count, Chombo is accused of defrauding the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through the Crops and Livestock Support Facility, where he received $14 billion in Zimbabwean dollars.

The court said Chombo did not use the money for the intended purpose, which was buying capital equipment that included a 30-tonne lorry, 30-tonne truck and combine harvester, among others.

He is said to have issued some cheques mainly through CBZ Bank for other purposes.Chipanga is facing charges of publishing or communicating false statements prejudicial to the State as defined in Section 31 (a) (iii) of the Criminal (Codification and Reform) Act Chapter 9.23 or alternatively causing disaffection among the police force or defence forces as defined in Section 30 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act.

The charges arose from a press conference on November 14, where he accused Zimbabwe Defence Forces Commander General Constantino Chiwenga of stealing money realised from diamond mining in Marange.

Article Source: The Herald