FORMER Finance minister Ignatius Chombo, on $5 000 remand over various corruption allegations, yesterday approached Harare magistrate Josephine Sande seeking relaxation of his “punishing” bail conditions.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Through his lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, Chombo claimed the requirement that he reports to the police three times a day was punishing, as it confined him to Harare.
Besides the stringent reporting conditions, Chombo was also ordered to surrender his passport to the clerk of court, barred from visiting government offices including the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe offices and ordered not to interfere with State witnesses.
In his application for bail variation, Madhuku asked the court to reduce his client’s reporting conditions to once a day between Monday and Friday.
Madhuku submitted that his client was now a full-time farmer in Raffingora, hence, the need for him to travel frequently to the farm.
“His farm is in Rafingora. This is a drastic change of circumstances,” he said.
“The applicant has a right to keep his life intact and fend for his family.
“The applicant has complied with the current stringent conditions to the letter.
“There can be no doubt that even without any bail conditions, he will attend trial whatever the nature of the charges.”
The State, represented by Edmore Nyazamba, conceded to the bail condition variation, but opposed the release of Chombo’s passport, saying the former minister was a flight risk.
The matter was postponed to Monday next week for ruling.