COURT: Ex-minister Mzembi says battling cancer; treatment to last a year

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By Court Reporter

FRAUD accused former cabinet minister Walter Mzembi is battling stomach cancer and will be undergoing treatment for one year, a Harare court heard on Tuesday.

Mzembi told Harare magistrate Milton Serima that he is suffering from gastric intestinal cancer which saw him undergoing surgery in May this year.

He said he will be going for post-operative reviews for at least one year in South Africa, adding that he would consequently require his passport.

The ex-minister said this when he appeared in court seeking to cancel a warrant of arrest that has been hanging over his head for the past three months.

He was issued with an administrative warrant in May this year after failing to turn up for routine remand.

Defence lawyer Job Sikhala told court that his client was hospitalised in South Africa recovering from an operation.

Sikhala unsuccessfully tried to prevent revelation of his client’s illness by seeking to have the case heard in camera.

The court cancelled the arrest warrant after Mzembi presented medical records complied by a South African specialist doctor who confirmed that he would need to check on his patient regularly.

Mzembi was then given his passport and is due back in court on August 31 for trial.

He is, among various corruption allegations accused of fraud involving some $1,6 million when he was still the Tourism and Hospitality Minister.