Chombo’s Land Case Begins To Crumble As Co-accused Are Set Free

Former Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo’s case on corruption charges appears to be beginning to crumble as co-accused — Rejoice Pazvakavambwa, the deputy director of valuations and estate management in the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing and Lazarus Chimba, the registrar of valuers — were last Friday removed from remand after the State unsuccessfully applied for further remand.

Prosecuting, Tapiwa Kasema wanted them remanded further, saying that they wanted to formally jointly charge them with Chombo before they could be given a trial date.

Mr Kasema said the two should not be removed from remand as they could abscond.

Pazvakavambwa and Chimba, through their lawyers Messrs Admire Rubaya and Joel Mambara, opposed the application, saying they had placed the State on notice that if it failed to give them a trial date, then they would apply for removal from remand.

They also argued that since the State was waiting for Chombo’s application of permanent stay from the High Court, there could be a scenario in which it could be denied and Chombo could go to the Supreme Court or Constitutional Court seeking further justice.

Therefore, it would not be fair for his co-accused to have their day to day lives disrupted while they continue to show up for remand at the courts, they argued.

Magistrate Ms Esteri Chivasa ruled that Pazvakavambwa and Chimba should be removed from remand as they had been religiously coming to court and could not abscond.

She said that no application had been made by the State to jointly charge Chombo and the duo and the bail conditions were also unreasonable.

The duo is accused of facilitating the illegal transfer of council property worth $900 000 into Chombo’s name.

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