By Charles Laiton
Ailing former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo has finally gotten the trust of the country’s justice system, which has once again released his passport to allow him to travel to South Africa to seek medical attention.
In May last year, Chombo’s passport caused a stir when suspected State security agents repossessed it from him at Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport just as he was about to board a plane to South Africa, prompting him to file several applications to have the document returned to him.
His bid finally paid off in December last year when the High Court acceded to his request and temporarily released it on condition he surrendered title deeds for his Marlborough property as surety.
On Wednesday, Chombo again appeared before Justice Moses Foroma seeking to have his passport released and the application was granted.
“The application for revival of a temporary variation of applicant (Chombo)’s bail conditions granted in judgment No 753/19 succeeds with no order as to costs,” the judge ruled.
“Accordingly, the applicant’s passport is temporarily released to him for the period March 3, 2020 to March 16, 2020. The clerk of court, Harare Magistrates’ Court, is ordered to immediately release the applicant’s passport as aforesaid to be returned on March 16, 2020.
“In lieu of the release of the passport, the applicant shall surrender to the clerk of court title Deed No 6205/88 to Stand 461 Marlborough Township Extension 3, Marlborough, in the name of Nimrod Willard Chiminya and the title deed to be given back to the applicant upon return of the passport.”
The former Cabinet minister, currently out on $5 000 bail, is facing several charges, including criminal abuse of office and violating section 4(a) of the Prevention of Corruption Act (Chapter 9:16). The offences only surfaced when he left office following the ouster of his principal, the late former President Robert Mugabe, in a military coup in November 2017. NewsDay