Former Home Affairs minister Ignatius Chombo, who is in the courts answering to charges of corruption had his mandamus application dismissed together with the state’s counter application as the drama continues to unfold.
Last week, a senior Harare prosecutor, Tapiwa Kasema was arrested on criminal abuse of office charges after he allegedly consented to the release of a passport belonging to Chombo, who is facing several corruption allegations.
Today, Harare magistrate Lazini Ncube dismissed Chombo’s application who was requesting to compel a public official to perform his duty.
In this case, his application was for the court to order the clerk of court to release Chombo’s passport. He told the court that Chombo was granted his passport when the state did not oppose the application.
The matter of the defense is that Chombo was at the airport with his family, waiting to fly out when a female security agent approached him and asked for his passport.
He handed it to her and she disappeared with it, his lawyer, Professor Lovemore Madhuku later came to court and were advised that the passport was with the clerk.
He went on to say what happened was illegal and it borders on contempt of court, advising the court to simply order the clerk of court to release Chombo’s passport.
“The accused’s passport was released through the right formalities. It was the court’s decision to give the accused his passport and some security agent seized it, which is illegal and a contempt of court,” said Magistrate Ncube.
In dismissing that application he however said, ” The high court granted the bail application to the accused person and this court has no power to give an order to have the passport released.”
Few days ago, prosecutors at the High Court downed tools over fears that the office of Prosecutor-General (PG) Kumbirai Hodzi had been captured by the State security services and political functionaries putting their lives at risk following Kasema’s arrest.
In a petition addressed to Hodzi, the Prosecutors Association of Zimbabwe (PAZ) accused the Special Anti-Corruption Unit (SACU) of abuse of office, saying they were being given instructions by that unit.