By Farayi Machamire
Former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chimbo, facing charges of criminal abuse of office, has been successful in having his bail conditions relaxed by the Harare Magistrates’ Courts.
Chombo made the application through his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku to be allowed to report twice a week at Marlborough Police Station on Monday and Friday between 6am and 6pm.
Chombo has been reporting at the same precinct three times a day, meaning he was reporting to the police 21 times a week.
Prosecutor Edmore Nyazamba did not object to Chombo’s application and concurred with Madhuku’s argument that indeed Chombo had been religiously following his bail conditions.
Harare magistrate Tilda Mazhande conceded that Chombo was a suitable candidate to have his bail conditions relaxed, noting it would not prejudice the delivery of justice.
His case was remanded to April 6.
In the bail application, Chombo had argued that he was now depending on farming on a full-time basis at his farm in Rafingora.
“This is a drastic change of circumstances. The applicant has a constitutional right to keep his life intact and fend for his family,” argued his lawyer in the bail application.
The former Cabinet minister is facing a slew of charges that could potentially earn him a combined 55 years in prison if convicted.
In this particular case, Chombo is being charges with violating Section 4(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16) by allegedly conniving with employees from the Local Government, Public Works and National Housing ministry to forge documents used to transfer a Glen Lorne residential property from the Harare City Council to a certain individual. DailyNews