Zimbabwe court denies bail to Robert Mugabe's former finance minister

Tuesday November 28 2017

Ignatius?Chombo.

Zimbabwe's former Minister of Finance?Ignatius?Chombo?(2nd R) leaves Harare Magistrate Court shackled to former Zanu-PF Youth League chairperson Kudzai Chipanga (R) after he was remanded in custody on fraud charges on November 25, 2017. PHOTO | ZINYANGE AUNTONY | AFP 

By AFP
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HARARE

Zimbabwe's former finance minister, Ignatius Chombo, who is facing graft charges dating back more than 10 years, was denied bail on Monday by a magistrate's court.

"The court is of the view that indeed there are compelling reasons to deny the accused person his right to bail," magistrate Elisha Singano said.

FRAUD CHARGES

"I concur with the state that if the accused is released at this time there will be a public outcry."

He also said the risk of Chombo fleeing was high.

Chombo is a former secretary for administration in the ruling Zanu-PF party and the last finance minister under President Robert Mugabe.

On Saturday, he became the first Mugabe loyalist to be charged following the military intervention that forced the 93-year-old leader from office.

He was remanded in custody on fraud charges dating from 2004-2009, when he held a different ministerial role.

BAIL

Chombo — seen as an ally of Grace Mugabe, the ex-president's controversial wife — told the court on Saturday that armed men in uniform had detained and questioned him for days at an unknown location.

Chombo appeared on Monday in the same court that denied bail to Kudzai Chipanga.

The former Zanu-PF youth league leader is facing charges of causing disaffection in the military after he denounced the army chief, Constantino Chiwenga.

He was remanded in custody to December 8.


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