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Chombo Bail Ruling Delayed

Harare magistrate Stanford Mambanje has postponed his bail ruling for former Cabinet Minister Ignatius Chombo to tomorrow after asserting that he was still carefully going through the submissions that were made by the State and Defense.

The ruling was supposed to be handed down today and Chombo will remain in custody until tomorrow.

Chombo was arrested over alleged graft in the allocation of stands and appeared in court on Wednesday facing one count of fraud and five counts of criminal abuse of office, all believed to have been committed between the year 2000 and 2015 when he was at the helm of the then housing ministry.

The State represented by Charles Muchemwa and Ephraim Zinyandu opposed bail stating that the charges he was facing would likely influence him to flee from trial.

“Effects of the allegations are such that they induce some flight risk in the accused person,” Muchemwa said.

Muchemwa argued that as a man of means, Chombo had high chances of evading justice as the charges he was facing were most likely to secure a conviction.

The investigating officer of the case, Detective Maxwell Gudo, told the court that freeing Chombo would likely give him a chance to interfere with investigations which are still underway.

However, his lead defence counsel Professor Lovemore Madhuku, who was being assisted by Tungamirai Muganhiri and Munyaradzi Bwanya, submitted that Chombo would be challenging his placement on remand on his next appearance.

Muganhiri also dismissed the State’s fears of abscondment as mere assumptions citing that Chombo handed himself over to the police and such behaviour would not match the State’s submissions. Nhau/Indaba

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