9 January 2018

Zimbabwe: Officials in Chombo Case to Stand Trial

Photo: The Herald
Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo.

An application challenging remand by the deputy director of valuations and estate management in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, Rejoice Pazvakavambwa and the registrar of valuers Lazarus Chimba was yesterday dismissed and the pair will stand trial.

Pazvakavambwa (43) and Chimba (70) are facing allegations of facilitating the transfer of council property worth $900 000 into ex-Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo's name.

Harare magistrate Ms Rumbidzai Mugwagwa ruled that the application lacked merit and the pair will have their day in court. Pazvakavambwa and Chimba are accused of violating Section 4(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16).

They are being represented by Messrs Admire Rubaya and Joel Mambara. It is alleged that the pair connived with Chombo, Psychology Chiwanga, Iben Francisco, James Chiyangwa, Theresa Chenjerayi and Elias Choto.

The prosecutor Mr Edmore Nyazamba is alleging that Chimba wrote a document dated June 13, 2008 to the City of Harare, indicating that he had no objection to a double transfer of a property in Glen Lorne to Aloise Chimeri.

He also did not object to Chimeri being given title deeds of the said property, which had been illegally acquired and was sold to him by Chombo. According to the State, Chimba influenced Harare City Council to illegally get compensation of the said piece of land, which had been sold by Chombo.

Pazvakavambwa, it is alleged, authored another document on June 25 of the same year addressed to City of Harare, confirming that the property had been sold to Chombo.

She further instructed Francisco to transfer the property into Chombo's name, the court heard. It is further alleged that by so doing, Chimba and Pazvakavambwa acted contrary to and inconsistent with their duties as public officers, as their actions had the effect of showing favour to Chombo and Chimeri.

Among serious charges Chombo is facing are violating Section 4(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16) by allegedly conniving with Chiwanga, Pazvakavambwa, Fransisco, Chiyangwa, Chenjerayi, Choto and Chimba to forge documents used to transfer the Glen Lorne, Harare, property from the Harare City Council to Chimeri.

Chombo is also accused of allocating residential stands to illegal settlers at Whitecliff Farm in Harare before demanding and receiving a bribe of a 3 712 square metre stand from the landowner to remove them. The landowner, Eddies Pfugari Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd, lost property worth $200 million in the process.

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