Zimbabwe: Chombo in Court for Fraud, Abuse of Power

Former minister Ignatius Chombo arrives at court.
24 February 2021

Former Cabinet Minister Ignatius Morgan Chombo today appeared in court on allegations involving illegal parcelling out of pieces of land in Harare and Zvimba Rural District during his tenure as the Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing between 2000 and 2015.

Chombo appeared before Harare regional magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje charged with fraud and five counts of criminal abuse of office and was placed on remand.

His lawyers - Professor Lovemore Madhuku, Mr Tungamirai Muganhiri and Mr Munyaradzi Bwanya -were expected to apply for bail this afternoon.

Mr Mambanje did not ask Chombo to plead to the charges.

Mr Charles Muchemwa and Mr Ephraim Zinyandu, appearing for the State, alleged that between 2000 and 2015 when he was Minister, Chombo allegedly caused home-seekers to deposit money into his Ignatius Chombo Housing Co-operative Agribank account for land development purposes.

It is alleged that Chombo promised to allocate the home-seekers pieces of land in Kia Ora Farm under Zvimba Rural District Council.

Further allegations are that during the same period, he used his influence as the Minister and allocated to himself 125 stands in Haydon Park and another five low density suburbs in Philadelphia Farm in Harare.

The stands were surrendered by Misheck Mangwende.

He is also accused of allocating stands to his companies - Comverol Enterprise (Pvt) Ltd, Cayford and Cavford (Pvt) Ltd in Carrick Creagh Farm in Harare without paying for the pieces of land.

Chombo also allegedly sold State land and Order Farm to Sensitive Investments (Pvt) Limited.

The former Cabinet Minister is also alleged to have instructed officers at Ministry of Local Government to sign a Deed of Settlement for Stoneridge Farm for Phillip Chiyangwa's Pinnacle Holdings without Cabinet approval.

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