1 February 2019
Former Minister of Local Government Public Works and National Housing, Ignatius Chombo, was yesterday found guilty for willfully defaulting court on Wednesday.
Chombo, who was issued with a warrant of arrest after he missed his remand date, appeared yesterday before Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya who found him guilty of willful default.
He was ordered to pay $30 fine or face five days’ imprisonment.
In default inquiry, Chombo’s lawyer Professor Lovermore Madhuku told the court that there was a mix up of the dates as Chombo is facing two charges, one of criminal abuse of office and the other of criminal nuisance.
“There was a miscommunication of dates as the record would show that in his last appearance he was given his passport with the intent to receive medical attention in South Africa and it was to be returned on January 30.
“The understanding was that the passport was to be returned on that date and he was to appear on the 30st.
“His medical practitioner had scheduled an appointment at 10am with the understanding that he would be appearing in court today, with that being said, his lawyers were engaged at the High Court in a matter he is applying for temporary stay of prosecution so we pray that the warrant be cancelled,” said Madhuku.
The State did not oppose the cancellation of the warrant considering the given circumstances.
In giving his ruling, Magistrate Mujaya said he was opposed to the view of the State and the defense counsels and found Chombo in willful default.
In the other record, magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa cancelled the warrant of arrest.
The matter was remanded to today for trial commencement.
Chombo in the criminal nuisance charge is being jointly charged with Kudzanai Chipanga and Innocent Hamandishe for wearing ZANU PF party regalia knowing full well that they had been expelled.