Former Minister of Finance, Ignatius Chombo, was denied bail by Harare Magistrate Elisha Singano on Monday. Chombo who is facing charges of fraud, criminal abuse of office and contravening the Prevention of Corruption Act was denied bail after Magistrate Singano noted that Chombo was likely to abscond as he had access to significant financial resources. He also noted that Zimbabwe’s borders were notoriously porous. Singano added that Chombo’s safety was at risk as the public was angry with him and could attack him if he was released on bail.
The stated had argued against Chombo being granted bail because the police had indicated that they still needed two more weeks to finish investigating the case against Chombo. The Investigating Officer, Onsimor Chikomba, argued that Chombo was very influential and could compromise the State’s witnesses. The State had added that releasing Chombo on bail would undermine public order and that Chombo was a flight risk who was likely to abscond as he had numerous contacts outside the country
Chombo’s lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku, had argued that Chombo has the right to be granted bail and had offered the court a deposit of $2 000 and for Chombo to report 3 times a day at Malborough Police Station. Madhuku also said that his client was willing to surrender his passport as well as the title deeds for his home. Chombo was also willing to allow the police to conduct random spot checks at his home.