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Ex-minister Chombo off the hook as NPA withdraws corruption charges

The National Prosecuting Authority (NPA) has failed to provide evidence implicating former cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo in a slew of corruption charges leading to his acquittal.

Chombo, who was arrested during the 2017 military coup that ousted late former President Robert Mugabe, was accused of corruptly grabbing state land in towns and cities across the country. He was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC).

Five years on, the State failed to present evidence against Chombo and withdrew the two remaining counts when he appeared before Harare magistrate, Marewanazvo Gofa.

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Allegations were that “on a date unknown to the Prosecutor, Chombo, working in connivance with Rejoice Pazvakavambwa, Psychology Chiwanga, Iben Pransisco, James Chiyangwa, Theresa Chenjerayi, Ehas Chote and L. Chimimba, manufactured a document which purported to have been made on 1 January 1997 with the intention of fraudulently acquiring Subdivisions “K” Portion of Nthaba Portion of Glen Lome from the City of Harare, signed and manufactured a fraudulent Lease Agreement to that affect”.

During the period extending from 25 June 2004 and December 2009, Chombo and his accomplices forged documents that included a Lease-to-buy Agreement, Capital Gains Tax Clearance Certificate and purported that the documents were authentic and made by the City of Harare, with the concurrence of Local Government and Zimbabwe Revenue Authority Officials”.

It was further alleged that, after having acquired the Fraudulent Lease Documents of Subdivision K Portion for Nthaba, Glen Lorne, Harare “the accused later fraudulently transferred the property in question to Alois Chimimba”.

The state had claimed that Chombo abused his office as his actions had the effect of showing favour to Alois Chimimba.