By Nyashadzashe Ndoro | Nehanda Courts |
Harare Provincial Magistrate Stanley Mambanje on Friday granted bail to former Finance minister Ignatius Chombo who is facing charges of criminal abuse of office emanating from his tenure in office.
Chombo who spent five days in custody on corruption related charges was ordered to remain subjected to previous conditions set in his cases that are still pending before the courts.
He was further ordered to surrender title deeds for his Mount Pleasant home, continue residing at his given address and report once every fortnight at the nearest police station.
Chombo has been remanded out of custody to March 12.
In an interview, Chombo’s lawyer Lovemore Madhuku said there was no basis for denying his client bail since he did not abscond on another bail he has been for three years.
“The same bail conditions apply in respect of the other charges with the exception that he has to put additional security. So he will surrender another title deed to some property.
“We are very pleased that the magistrate acted very competently and professionally. There was no basis for thinking that Chombo would abscond. He has been abiding by his bail conditions for the past three years,” he said.
Chombo was arrested on Tuesday over allegations of allocating several stands in and around Harare without cabinet authority and faced one count of fraud and five counts of criminal abuse of office, all believed to have been committed between the year 2000 and 2015.
State prosecutors Charles Muchemwa and Ephraim Zinyandu had opposed bail stating that the charges he was facing would likely influence him to flee from trial.
However, in his ruling on the application, Magistrate Mambanje allayed fears of abscondment by asserting that the Chombo proved to be a perfect candidate for bail after he visited South Africa nine times without violating the previous bail conditions. Nehanda Radio