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Chombo arrested

FORMER finance minister Ignatius Chombo has been arrested again, this time for allegedly demanding a bribe from a fish farmer.

Already facing several other corruption cases before the courts, Chombo was the first minister to be arrested after the ouster of former President Robert Mugabe's retirement.

According to NewZimbabwe.com, he was dragged before Harare magistrate Victoria Mashamba Friday answering on fresh criminal abuse of office charges. The state did not oppose granting of bail.

The complainant in the latest case is one Chargan Vithal Rama. It is state's case that Rama got a 60-year lease on a stand for fish farming in Chirundu expiring in 2054.

Court heard that after making some developments worth $500,000 on the land, Rama ran out of money six years later and approached financial institutions for funding.

However, he banks demanded surety in the form of title deeds for the land where he was carrying out his fish farming business.

With the help of his brother Amrat who was the councillor in Chirundu, Rama reportedly approached Chombo in 2007 asking for the minister's help to secure deeds for the property.

Court heard Chombo asked Rama to visit him so that they could discuss the issue.

It is alleged that during the meeting, Chombo told Rama he would only get the deeds if he (the minister) was given a 25% share in the business.

Rema reportedly rejected the minister's proposal. However, two years later in 2009, Chombo allegedly caused the withdrawal of Rama's lease.

The minister allegedly instructed his subordinates to allocate Rama's land to another company identified as Glory Boost Pvt Ltd.

Prosecutors say Chombo had no right to demand shares in the business, withdraw Rama's lease or allocate the farm to another company.

Sebastin Mutizirwa prosecuted.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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