The Supreme Court was yesterday left stunned after the State denied ever confiscating former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo’s passport, but however admitted that the passport was in the hands of the Clerk of Court.
This then left the court with more questions than answers as to who then handed the passport over to the Clerk at the Harare Magistrate Courts.
Supreme Court Judge, Justice Antonia Guvava also had reservations as to why and who was holding the passport.
“Under what rule of law is the clerk of court keeping the passport,” queried Justice Guvava
Standing in for the State, Addington Chinake said the State was unaware who seized Chombo’s travelling document. Chombo was bundled out the plane at Robert Mugabe International Airport when he intended to travel to South Africa for medical attention.
After his travelling document was confiscated by an unknown state security agent, Chombo approached the higher courts to try and get his passport back.
“The clerk of court at the Magistrate’s Court complied with the court order and gave the applicant his passport. What happened next, we do not know,” he said.
Chinake added that what mattered most is the fact that the passport was released and the fact that it was taken by an unknown person was of no use to the High Court.
“Clearly, the record doesn’t show connivance between the unknown person and the respondents,” said the State.
However, the response by the State came as a shock to Professor Lovemore Madhuku, representing Chombo urging that the clerk of court was illegally holding on to the passport.
“The clerk of court admitted that the passport was returned the very same day it was seized from the applicant. It was on a Sunday and that action shows subversion of the entire justice system,” said Madhuku.
However, Justice Guvava dismissed the application indicating that reasons will be given in due course.