By Prosper Dembedza
Harare regional magistrate Mr Hosea Mujaya yesterday postponed to next month the corruption trial of former Minister Ignatius Chombo, to allow the State to amend its papers.
Chombo is being jointly charged with Lazarus Chimba for selling a Government house in Mutare without following due process.
Prosecutor Mr George Manokore successfully sought postponement of the case indicating that the prosecution intended to make amendments to the State outline. The pair will be back in court on January 29, 2020.
On behalf of Chombo, Professor Lovemore Madhuku notified the court of his intention to seek exception to the charge if the defects in the State papers were not amended by January 29.
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 same year, Munamati occupied No. 16 Kipling Road, Fairbridge Park, Mutare, a Government house which was reserved for provincial registrars.
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 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 for Manicaland.
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