NPA drops criminal charges against former minister Chombo

HARARE – Former cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo, once marked as a “targeted criminal around former President Robert Mugabe,” has had his Z$14 billion fraud charges dropped by the National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) for lack of evidence.

The ex-finance minister was charged with criminal abuse of office after he allegedly got a loan from the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) under an agricultural support facility only to divert it to personal use.

Allegations were that between October 1, 2005, and January 12, 2006, the former Zvimba North MP defrauded the central bank by misrepresenting that he was applying for a capital expenditure loan under the Other Crops and Livestock Support Facility to purchase farm equipment.

Acting on the misrepresentation, RBZ processed and disbursed a loan amounting Z$14 billion to Chombo.

He allegedly used the money to purchase two Toyota Hilux Vigo vehicles.

It was further alleged that from September 2, 2006, to March 25, 2008, when he was local government minister, Chombo corruptly acquired a property, Subdivision 61 Helensvale from the City of Harare.

He then went on to register the stand under Harvest-Net Enterprises (Private) Limited, a company he owned.

Prosecutor Kennedy Madekutsikwa told Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje that there was no evidence linking the former minister to the alleged offences.

Chombo fell by the wayside 2017 when Zimbabwe’s military, acting in cahoots with the now Zimbabwe incumbent President Emmerson Mnangagwa, dethroned the late former President Robert Mugabe accusing him of harbouring criminals in his government.

The said criminals included Chombo, then finance minister, who has seen his many criminal charges dropped.

He is now left with only two criminal accusations after more than 10 charges against him collapsed.

Critics have accused the Zanu PF led administration of presiding over the infamous “catch and release” culture that has seen current and former party allies accused of committing crimes spared from imprisonment.

Enjoyed this post? Share it!


Leave a comment