Former cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo is now off the hook after state withdrew charges before the Harare Magistrates court due to lack of evidence.
Chombo was facing charges of misappropriating $14 Billion loan he acquired under the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) Other Crops and Livestock extended to him between October 2005 and January 2006.
The charges were withdrawn before plea when he appeared before Harare Regional Magistrate Stanford Mambanje.
Chombo, who was also a former Local Government minister, had filed an application for permanent stay of prosecution saying he was illegally arrested by soldiers during the November 2017 coup, and kept captive for days before being released to the police.
The former minister was being represented by Tungamirai Muganhiri.
Allegations surrounding the matter were that between October 1, 2005 and January 12, 2006, Chombo defrauded the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) by misrepresenting that he was applying for a capital expenditure loan under the Other Crops and Livestock Support Facility to purchase farm equipment. Acting on the misrepresentation, RBZ processed a loan totalling $14 billion to Chombo.
It was said he then used the money to purchase two Toyota Hilux Vigo vehicles.
It was also alleged that from September 2, 2006 to March 25, 2008, Chombo corruptly acquired a property, Subdivision 61 Helensvale from the City of Harare.
Chombo, who was the Local Government minister at the time, went on to register the stand under Harvest-Net Enterprises (Private) Limited, a company he owned.
In withdrawing the charges, the state said investigations revealed that he used the money as per the loan requirements.