Shocking details of Chombo passport seizure emerges

Former Zimbabwe finance minister Ignatius Chombo, who was among those detained by the military when they seized power before Robert Mugabe resigned this week, arrives at court on to face corruption charges in Harare, Zimbabwe, November 25, 2017. REUTERS/Philimon Bulawayo

EMBATTLED former Finance Minister Ignatius Chombo recently got another reminder his time as an untouchable top government official was over when some state agents trailed and seized his passport just as he was about to board a plane to South Africa for treatment.

This was revealed in court Monday by his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku.

“…On Sunday, May 12, my client and his family abandoned their journey to South Africa where he had intended to seek medical attention.

“He went through all formalities at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport and when he was about to board his flight, a security agent approached him and asked to check his passport,” he said.

Madhuku further told court that after taking the passport, the officer vanished forcing Chombo and his family to abort the journey.

He further told court that the immigration department continued giving excuses on why his passport was taken.

The once powerful ex-minister later discovered the document was handed back to the clerk of court with how it got there still a mystery to him.

The once influential top government official had surrendered his passport to the courts as part of his bail conditions during the beginning of his corruption related trial.

The release of the document recently raised a lot of dust with a prosecutor Tapiwa Kasema now in trouble for bungling on the case that saw the release of the former Minister’s passport.

On Monday, prosecutors contended the court order that saw the release of the passport was faulty since Kasema concealed changed circumstances from the magistrate.

Kasema has since been arrested over the allegations and is yet to stand trial for abusing his duties as a public officer.

Chombo is among former President Robert Mugabe’s henchmen who fell by the wayside when the Zimbabwean strongman was muscled out in a shock military coup November 2017.

He is among a handful ex-ministers who have been in and out of the courts over a slew of offences allegedly committed during their time in government amid claims of persecution under new President Emmerson Mnangagwa. – New Zim