BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
A HARARE magistrate yesterday dismissed an application for the temporary release of former Local Government minister Ignatius Chombo’s passport.
Magistrate Estere Chivasa argued that she could not release the passport merely because the applicant has cancer.
Chombo is facing several corruption allegations.
“The court cannot simply release the passport merely because the applicant has cancer. He made prosecution impossible, legally though, at the time when the State indicated that they are ready for trial and now he is requesting his passport persistently on the basis of an outdated document which militates against release of the passport on the changed circumstances,” Chivasa said.
“It is not in dispute that the applicant was diagnosed with cancer. A perusal of the doctor’s letter reveal apparent challenges as far as the requirements of the present application is
concerned. Firstly, the applicant is relying on a document which is dated February 2019, we are now in July and that on its own presents a challenge in that it is the document that was
relied upon in the previous application and legally, there is no change in circumstances.
“While their reasons for not attending court are not known, this court cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that there is a trend to abuse the indulgence. The applicant is not being punished for other people’s sins but considering the nature of these applications and that they are informal, my view is that the interests of justice are paramount,” she added.
Meanwhile, Chombo was picked up by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers outside the court on fresh corruption allegations.
Zacc secretary Silent Pondo confirmed to NewsDay that Chombo was arrested and is assisting them with investigations on an undisclosed matter.