Chombo’s passport appeal denied

A Harare magistrate has turned down a request by former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo for a temporal release of his passport  to travel to South Africa on medical grounds, saying he was seeking to evade trial.

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A Harare magistrate has turned down a request by former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo for a temporal release of his passport  to travel to South Africa on medical grounds, saying he was seeking to evade trial.

Chombo is facing several corruption allegations and was granted temporary stay of proceedings by the Supreme Court after he alleged that his rights were being violated during his arrest by the military during Operation Restore Legacy.

The former minister alleged that his health was deteriorating and seeks the return of the passport seized by security agents at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport when he was travelling to South Africa for medical treatment.

He is represented by Lovemore Madhuku and Tungamirai Muganhiri.

The State represented by prosecutors, Clemence Chimbari, Tendai Shonhai, Lovett Masuku and Tafara Chirambira opposed the application before magistrate Estere Chivasa, saying there was no proof that the letters of invitation to South Africa were authentic and alleged that Chombo wants to evade trial under the pretext of seeking medical attention since he knows his trial is ready.

In the ruling Chivasa said Chombo should face the music at home.

Chombo submitted that he was suffering from cancer and he had an outstanding medical review recommended by his doctors.

He is seeking the release of the passport for three weeks up to July 17, saying failure to travel for medical review was causing him mental and physical pain.

Chombo pleaded with the court, saying there would be no prejudice to the State since his appeal, which was stayed by Supreme Court, will resume beginning mid-September.

Meanwhile the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission have arrested Chombo as he was leaving the court on Wednesday on fresh charges of corruption when he was in government.