By Nyore Madzianike
Harare regional magistrate Mr Trynos Utahwashe yesterday deferred the matter involving former Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo and ex-Zanu PF youth leaders —Kudzanayi Chipanga, Innocent Hamandishe and Mathew Mleya — to February 18 next year, pending a determination of the Supreme Court.
Chombo 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.
He is jointly charged with Chipanga, Hamandishe and Mleya on allegations of wearing regalia emblazoned with President Mnangagwa’s initials, although they had been expelled from Zanu PF.
It is alleged that between December 8 and 13, 2017, the trio connived to wear party regalia emblazoned with President Mnangagwa’s initials, although they knew they were no longer members of Zanu PF. They took photographs of themselves while wearing the regalia, including hats embroidered with the Zanu PF flag, inscribed “ED” and “Kutonga Kwaro”.
The court heard that the quartet then posted the said photographs on social media.
According to the State, the Zanu PF leadership saw this as a nuisance.
Chombo is also appearing on his own on criminal abuse and fraud charges and the cases were deferred to the same date.
It is alleged that on October 1, 2005, Chombo hatched a plan to defraud the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) under its “Other Crops and Livestock Support Facility”.
Chombo allegedly applied for a loan amounting to $14 billion, which was to be repaid within 18 months and indicated his address as Allen Grange Farm, Rafingora.
He is said to have misrepresented that he would use the loan to buy agricultural equipment. The equipment included a 30-tonne lorry valued at $2 billion, 30-tonne truck valued at $1,5 billion, 200hp tractor four-wheel drive valued at $2,5 billion, combine harvester valued at $5 billion, 52 dish roam disc valued at $1 billion, nine row monosem planter valued at $1,2 billion, 2x500kg chicken feed mixer valued at $8 million.
Instead, Chombo allegedly abused the money and it was investigated and established that he had imported various motor vehicles, including a Toyota Hilux Vigo for socialite Pokello Nare, which was delivered at 222 Samora Machel Avenue, Harare. The Herald.