By Prosper Dembedza
Former Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo yesterday appeared in court on fresh charges after he allegedly sold a Government house in Mutare without following due process.
He is jointly charged with Lazarus Chimba for criminal abuse of duty.
Harare magistrate Mrs Barbra Mateko ordered Chombo to abide by the same bail conditions of his other cases and remanded Chimba out of custody on his own recognition.
She deferred the matter to September 4.
Chombo’s lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, gave the State notice that he will make an application for refusal of remand on September 4.
It is alleged that sometime in 2000, Joyce Munamati, who was the acting provincial registrar for Manicaland Province, and Fred Kanzama, a former Member of Parliament for Mutare South constituency, were in a relationship which produced a son although they were not living together.
The court heard that year Munamati occupied No. 16 Kipling Road, Fairbridge Park, Mutare, a Government house which was reserved for provincial registrars for Manicaland Province.
It is the State’s case that on March 1 2000 Munamati signed a lease agreement with the then Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development at Mutare Provincial Public Works office, for occupation of the said house.
The court heard that sometime in 2007 Munamati submitted an application to buy the house to the then acting provincial public works officer Manicaland under the then Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development.
It is alleged that the application was forwarded to the Secretary of Local Government Public Works and Urban Development, without objection.
Chimba allegedly objected to the request citing a shortage of rented accommodation for officers in general.
The court heard that Kanzama approached Chombo and expressed his desire to purchase the property.
Chombo allegedly instructed Chimba to sell the house and to prepare an agreement of sale between Kanzama and his ministry.
Chimba, acting in common purpose with Chombo, entered into an agreement of sale with Kanzama as the purchaser at a cost of ZW70 trillion which was duly paid, the court heard.
It is the State’s case that Chombo and Chimba, being public officers, unlawfully and intentionally acted contrary to or inconsistent with their duties by showing favour to Kanzama and disfavour to Munamati. The Herald