FORMER local government minister Ignatius Chombo, was yesterday removed from remand after the State failed to secure a requisite policy document.
He is being accused of illegally facilitating the sale of a government house in Mutare to ex-Zanu PF legislator Fred Kanzama.
Chombo, who is jointly charged with former valuations and estate management director Lazarus Chimba, appeared before Harare regional magistrate Hosea Mujaya, who ordered the State to proceed by way of summons.
“I am not going to grant the postponement and I am not saying the accused persons have been discharged. Further remand is hereby refused,’ Mujaya ruled.
This was after prosecutor George Manokore had asked for a month’s postponement because the investigating officer had failed to secure the document.
He said officials in the Housing ministry failed to secure the policy document mainly because the ministry previously run by Chombo had been split into two in the new dispensation.
“They cannot trace it to any of their offices. We thought that it could be with other departments, but that was not fruitful and the bottom line is the document is not there.
“We appreciate that we are to blame in a way, but this is beyond our control and ask for an opportunity to make a follow-up,” Manokore said.
Chombo’s lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, said Manokore’s submissions confirmed that the document did not exist yet it was at the centre of the allegations his client was facing.