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Prosecutor in court over corruption

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GWERU — Former Kwekwe based Prosecutor Vincent Chikombe (31) on Wednesday appeared before a Gweru magistrate facing allegations of criminal abuse of office, less than a month after he was fired over allegations of a similar nature.

Chikombe is accused of demanding $800 from a former Kwekwe City council employee Seeward Chigwedere who was facing theft and fraud charges.

It is the state case that sometime in May, Chikombe, who was prosecuting the matter, demanded money from Chigwedere as reward to have charges against him dropped.

Chigwedere allegedly paid him $500 after selling 3 beasts, before his trial started at the Kwekwe Magistrates’ Courts. The courts then found Chigwedere guilty but remanded him out of custody. The state alleges that Chikombe then demanded to be paid the remaining $300 which allegedly came in trenches.

On the day Chegwedere was supposed to appear in court for sentence, the state alleges that Chikombe dismissed the accused just outside the courts, telling him that he needed not attend court since everything was under control.

A warrant of arrest against Chigwedere was issued for court default leading to his arrest on July 21 and he was eventually sentenced.

Chigwedere then reported the matter to Gweru police who went on to arrest Chikombe and brought him before the courts on July 29.

However, the matter was temporarily withdrawn after Chikombe and Chigwedere had reached an out-of-court settlement.

Chikombe was nevertheless summoned to appear before the courts a week later after the state dismissed attempts to have the matter settled out of court. He was then remanded in custody pending bail application before Gweru provincial magistrate Patekile Msipa.

The prosecutor, who was recently fired from the Attorney General’s office over a similar offence, is currently battling for freedom after the state refused him bail on grounds that he had become a habitual criminal.

The state was represented by Andrew Marimo, while the defence is led by Brain Dube
The other charges emanated from an August 2009 case in Kandi where Chikombe was caught red-handed receiving a $300 bribe from one Maria Moyo whose husband had been nabbed for stocktheft.

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