By Tendai Rupapa
Former Finance and Economic Development Minister Ignatius Chombo has approached the Supreme Court seeking permanent stay of proceedings in the magistrates’ court where he is facing several cases involving corruption, fraud and abuse of office.
Chombo unsuccessfully made the same application at the High Court citing violation of his constitutional rights.
In his judgement, Justice Nicholas Mathonsi dismissed the application for permanent stay of proceedings, saying it was not the appropriate remedy for the constitutional issues raised.
Following the dismissal of the application, the matter was sent back to the lower court for trial, but Chombo decided to appeal against Justice Mathonsi’s decision at the Supreme Court.
Pending the Supreme Court’s decision on the permanent stay of proceedings, Chombo wants the same court to temporarily stall proceedings at the magistrate’s court.
He is being represented by Professor Lovemore Madhuku.
Chombo was on Friday last week back at the magistrates’ court where he appeared before magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya.
He was remanded to May 10.
Prosecutor Mrs Tinashe Makiya sought for postponement of the matter on the basis that the Supreme Court application was still pending.
She indicated that the prosecutor who is dealing with the cases was not available.
Chombo is facing a raft of charges ranging from corruption to abuse of office, fraud and criminal nuisance.
Among some of the charges, Chombo is accused of allocating residential stands to illegal settlers at Whitecliff Farm in Harare before demanding and receiving a bribe of a 3 712-square metre stand from the landowner to help remove them.
The land owner, Eddies Pfugari Property Developers (Pvt) Ltd, lost property worth $200 million in the process.
Chombo, in another case, is jointly charged with Kudzanayi Chipanga, Innocent Hamandishe and Mathew Mleya.
They are accused of wearing Zanu-PF party regalia emblazoned with President Mnangagwa’s initials.
The expelled members of Zanu-PF allegedly took photographs of themselves wearing the caps inscribed “ED” and “Kutonga Kwaro” and an embroidered Zanu-PF flag. The Herald