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Top Zimbabwe 'Minister' Facing Corruption Charges Involving Billions of Dollars

  • Gibbs Dube

FILE: Zimbabwe's home affairs minister Ignatious Chombo announcing Friday that every February 21st, the birthday of Mugabe, will now be a public holiday since the 93-year old leader exhibited "self sacrifice, selflessness, patriotism, hard work, principled leadership.

Former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo, who appeared in court today facing several fraud and corruption charges, told the courts he was abducted by men wearing army uniforms and was detained at an unknown location.

Chombo said he was dumped at his residence on Wednesday but was immediately picked up by police.

He said suspected members of the Zimbabwe Defence Force abducted him on November 14th after they broke into his residence where they smashed the main gate, doors and windows before force-marching him into a vehicle while blindfolded.

He said his so-called abductors accused him of failing to properly run the ruling Zanu PF party and the Ministry of Local Government before he was recently appointed finance minister and corruption.

Chombo claimed that he was taken to an unknown location and then dumped at his house on Wednesday where he was arrested by police who took him to Harare Central Police.

Prosecutor Edmore Nyazama said Chombo is facing charges of fraud involving billions of dollars and corruption and as a result should be remanded in custody.

However, his attorney Lovemore Madhuku said Chombo has been in police custody for a long time and therefore he needs to be released.

Madhuku argued that as per some provisions of the Zimbabwe Constitution, an accused person is supposed to be brought before the courts within 48 hours of his arrest. He said police are violating the constitution by holding him in custody for more than the prescribed period.

But Nyazama argued that Chombo’s arrest is within the required time frame.

At the same time, two of his subordinates of the so-called Generation 40 faction of the ruling party, which wanted then First Lady Grace Mugabe to succeed her husband, have also appeared in court facing charges of insulting General Constantino Guveya Chiwenga.

ZANU PF Youth League members, Kudzayi Chipanga and Innocent Hamandishe, claim that they were beaten up by members of the national army who abducted them from their homes a week ago.

Chipanga made a public apology on television saying he was misled to read a statement in which he said the Zanu PF Youth League will defend President Mugabe until the last man from any person who wanted to manipulate him to embrace Team Lacoste, which was another group led by then ousted Vice President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

The latter seized power from Mugabe following an interference by military, which intervened in Zanu PF squabbles and sidelined Mugabe in favour of Mnangagwa.

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