By Mary Taruvinga
FORMER Cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo who is facing several criminal abuse of office charges, was Friday granted access to his passport, which he was seeking to travel to South Africa for cancer treatment.
He had surrendered the passport to the Clerk of Court as part of his bail conditions when he was arrested in 2018.
Chombo told the court last year that he was battling cancer and needed access to his passport to travel to South Africa for treatment.
On Friday, High Court judge, Moses Foroma ordered the immediate release of the passport before he instructed Chombo to return it to the Clerk of Court on March 16 2020.
“The application for revival of a temporary variation of applicant’s (Chombo) bail conditions granted in judgment No.753/19 succeeds with no order as to costs,” Foroma said.
“Accordingly, the applicant’s passport is temporarily released to him for the period March 3, 2020 to March 16, 2020. The Clerk of Court, Harare Magistrates Court is ordered to immediately release the applicant’s passport as aforesaid to be returned on March 16, 2020.
“In lieu of the release of the passport, the applicant shall surrender to the Clerk of Court, Title Deed No.6205/88 to Stand 461 Malborough Township Extension 3 Malborough in the name of Nimrod Willard Chiminya, and the title deed to be given back to the applicant upon return of the passport.”
Last year, there was drama when Chombo, after being granted his passport by a Harare magistrate, suspected State security agents seized it while the ex-government official was already aboard a plane to South Africa at the Robert Gabriel Mugabe International Airport.
A prosecutor, Tapiwa Kasema was subsequently arrested for bungling on the case that saw the release of Chombo’s passport and was charged with criminal abuse of office charge.
After that, the matter spilled into the High Court, Supreme Court and Constitutional Court with no joy for the former minister until he got relief Friday.