Ex-Minister Ignatius Chombo trial still to kick-off 2 years on
The National Prosecuting Authority on Wednesday indicated that it was not ready to proceed to trial, and laid the blame on the investigating officer.
The trial of former finance minister Ignatius Chombo on several criminal allegations is yet to start, two years after he was arrested.
“The state is waiting for police documents and can’t proceed to trial without the documents,” said the prosecutor handling the case. “The challenge is that the investigating officer keeps changing statements and is stalling progress,” Harare senior regional magistrate, Hosea Mujaya, was further told.
Chombo is jointly charged with a local government ministry employee, Lazarus Chimba. The case relates to the sale of stands while Chombo was still local government minister and Chimba was director of valuations and estates management in the ministry.
Chimba tried to put the state on notice to challenge further remand, but Mujaya said the state should be given another chance. The magistrate ordered the prosecution to furnish the duo with a trial date on February 14 when they next appear in court.
Chombo was the first minister to be arrested following a military coup in November 2017. The army said it was seeking to remove criminals around former President Robert Mugabe. Mugabe died in September last year.
Chombo also faces charges of wearing Zanu PF party regalia without authority. He will also stand trial for allegedly prejudicing Eddie Pfugari Properties of more than $200 million in a botched land deal.
The prosecution will also charge him for allegedly defrauding businessman, Chargan Vithal Rama, of $500,000 in a company share ownership transfer deal.
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