Ignatius Chombo appeared to contradict his lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku when he appeared in the Magistrate’s Court on Saturday. Chombo claimed that he had not been assaulted while he was in military custody. Madhuku had earlier told the Reuters news agency that Chombo had been admitted to hospital after being assaulted by soldiers during his detention. Chombo was one of the government ministers arrested by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces when the military ‘targeted criminals’ around former President Robert Mugabe under Operation Restore Legacy.
Appearing in court facing charges of corruption, criminal abuse of office and fraud, Chombo said:
When they got into the house, their faces were covered. They ordered me, my wife and our housemaid to lie down.
“I was then hand cuffed before they pushed and pulled me out of the house and we went out through the sitting room window which they had smashed to gain entry
…I sustained some cuts from the handcuffs which sank deep into my wrists as well as lacerations on my right arm and shoulder.
Every day was more or less the same; I was interviewed by a panel of five people who I didn’t see.
During that time, they did not assault me. They would only ask what I wanted; not that they would provide me (with those things) but they would make effort.
I was blindfolded and seated the entire time. When I needed something, they would uncover my face, stay behind me and give me a pen and paper to write down my requests.
Chombo was remanded in custody.
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