BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A SENIOR Harare prosecutor was arrested yesterday on criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly consented to the release of a passport belonging to former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo, who is facing several corruption allegations.
Tapiwa Kasema was not asked to plead when he appeared before magistrate Vongai Muchuchuti-Guwuriro, who remanded him to June 5 on $150 bail.
Kasema was arrested by officers from the CID Commercial Crime Division and his docket was being handled by the Anti-Corruption Special Unit department.
There was drama when Kasema arrived at the Harare Magistrates’ Court for vetting and the prosecutors in charge referred back the docket to Prosecutor-General Kumbirai Hodzi.
The docket was finally vetted by Tabani Mpofu (not MDC leader Nelson Chamisa’s lawyer) and Justin Uladi.
It is the State’s case that on May 10, Chombo, who is facing criminal abuse of office and fraud charges, was appearing in court 6 at Harare Magistrates’ Courts for routine remand for CRB’s 11633/17, CRB12182/17 and CRB2254/18.
The State alleges that Chombo made an application for the temporary release of his passport on record CRB11633/17, which was being handled by the accused.
Despite the fact that Kasema knew that Chombo’s passport was being held in respect of the other two records which he (Kasema) was not handling, the State avers that he acted contrary and inconsistently to his duties by consenting to the release of the passport only on record CRB11633/17.
The prosecution further declared that Kasema showed some element of favour to Chombo.
After the court released Chombo’s passport, State security agents confiscated it at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport at the weekend as the former minister was about to travel out of the country on medical grounds.
Moses Mapanga appeared for the State.