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Charges against Chombo withdrawn

by Staff reporter
01 Sep 2021 at 17:59hrs | Views
Harare magistrate Mr Stanford Mambanje today withdrew charges of criminal nuisance against former Local Government, Public Works and National Housing Minister Ignatius Chombo before plea, and the State will proceed by way of summons if it wishes to pursue the case.

Chombo was being jointly charged with ex-Zanu-PF youth leaders Kudzanayi Chipanga, Innocent Hamandishe and Mathew Mleya on allegations of wearing regalia emblazoned with President Mnangagwa's initials, although they had been expelled from Zanu-PF.

It was alleged that between December 8 and 13, 2017, the quartet connived and took photographs of themselves while wearing the regalia, including hats embroidered with the Zanu-PF flag, inscribed "ED" and "Kutonga Kwaro."

The court heard they then posted the said photographs on social media.

According to the State, the Zanu-PF leadership saw this as a nuisance.

Although the charges against Chombo have been withdrawn, Chipinga, Hamandishe and Mleya will still have their day in court over the matter.

Mr Mambanje cancelled a warrant of arrest against Chombo and Mleya which he had issued yesterday for their failure to appear in court after prosecutor Mr Malvern Mapako indicated the State was withdrawing charges against the ex-minister.

Chombo's lawyer Mr Tungamirai Muganhiri told the court that his client was not in willful default as he was waiting for him to be advised on the effect of a practice direction issued by the court.

As his legal practitioners we were unable to advise him on time on the effect of the practice direction, Chombo then failed to show up at court.

Mr Muganhiri told the court that Chombo was granted his passport and he left the country before coming back, which showed he was not willing to avoid any court proceedings.

He said if Chombo wanted to default, he would have vanished when his passport was temporarily released to him.

In cancelling the warrant of arrest, Mr Mambanje said Chombo and Mleya came back to court the next day and should be granted the benefit of doubt.

"The court finds no willful default and therefore the warrant of arrest is hereby cancelled," he said.

Source - the herald