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Ignatius Chombo

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Dr.
Ignatius Chombo
Ignatius Chombo, Government Ministers, ZANU-PF
Ignatius Chombo
Born Ignatius Morgan Chombo
(1952-08-01) August 1, 1952 (age 65)
Marondera
Residence Zimbabwe
Education
Occupation Politician, Businessman
Known for Being a Cabinet Minister

Dr. Ignatius Chombo is a Zimbabwean politician and a former member of the ruling Zanu-PF party. He is also the former Minister of Finance and Economic Development.

On 14 November 2017, after the military took over control of the country, Chombo was reportedly arrested by the Zimbabwe Defence Forces. As he was being arrested there was apparently an exchange of gunfire between his guards and the members of the military. Pictures of his bullet-riddled home were shared online.

The Zanu-PF Central Committee met in Special Session at the Party Headquarters in Harare on the 19th of November 2017 in terms of Article 7 Section 37(7) of the Party’s Constitution and Ignatius Chombo among other top officials was expelled from the party.[1].Ignatius Chombo was expelled as the (Zvimba North) legislator in November 2017.

Background

Ignatius Morgan Chombo was born on August 1, 1952 in Marondera. He has three sons with former wife Marian Chombo.

Education

Ignatius Chombo graduated from Kutama Teachers College in 1970.Chombo holds the following degrees:

  • PhD in Adult Education from Vanderbilt University, Nashville (1981)
  • PhD in Higher Education, Texas Woman's University, Denton (1987).[2]

Political career

Chombo joined the political fray between 1966 and 1969 because he was opposed to the colonial rule. Chombo became popular in 1995 when he was elected Member of Parliament, resident minister and Governor for Mashonaland West Province. He was also appointed Minister of Higher Education in the same year.[3] In 2001 he was appointed as the Minister of Local Government.He was re-elected as Zvimba North House of Assembly member in the March 2008 Parliamentary elections. In 2009, he was re-appointed Minister of Local Government with the inception of the Government of National Unity(GNU). In July 2015, Chombo was appointed Minister of Home Affairs after 15 years serving as the Minister of Local Government. He was succeeded by Saviour Kasukuwere.In October 2017, Chombo was appointed as the Minister of Finance and Economic Development, taking over from Patrick Chinamasa

It is believed that Dr Chombo is part of the Gushungo Clan as he comes from Zvimba, former President Mugabe's home area. In the same breath, his assumed ties to the Gushungo clan have been used to assume that it has been his political strength which helped him survive the tough terrain of Zanu-PF politics. His appointment as Minister of local government, Minister of Home Affairs and Minister of Finance and Economic development are speculated to have been hinged or based on the fact that he is part of the Gushungo Clan which the former President Mugabe belongs to.

Positions Held

  • University Lecturer, Department Chairman, University of Zimbabwe(1988-1992)
  • Member of the Catholic Youth Organization (Solidarity) (1966–69)
  • Teacher (1971–74)

Involvement in Corruption

Chombo was reported to have been dragged before the courts many times facing corruption charges. In 2013, he allegedly acquired and sold council stands in Harare.[4]In the same year, he allegedly used his ministerial position to allocate a peri-urban farm to his personal lawyer, Wilson Manase.[5]

Minister Chombo was also implicated in a scandal which involved other prominent figures such as former vice president Joice Mujuru and former deputy minister of Information and Publicity, Bright Matonga. Matonga a former CEO of Zimbabwe United Passenger Company (ZUPCO) was said to have benefited from an underhand deal in which he got US $3,000 per bus bought by the parastatal. It is alleged that Chombo and company solicited a bribe of about US $85,000 from a local bus supplier.

Chombo was heavily criticized after he quashed the suspension of Harare town clerk Tendai Mahachi, standing against the public fight for accountability and transparency.[6] Harare Mayor Bernard Manyenyeni had suspended Mahachi for three months as he was allegedly involved in the Salarygate scandal.

When a probe team of Harare City Councillors, produced a report implicating Chombo and businessman Philip Chiyangwa of illegally acquiring council properties at dirt cheap prices the police refused to investigate the matter.It was reported that the councillors were arrested, and journalists who reported the matter arrested too at the instruction of Chiyangwa[7]

Expulsion from the party

After the Zanu-PF Central Committee met in Special Session at the Party Headquarters in Harare on the 19 November 2017 in terms of Article 7 Section 37(7) of the Party’s Constitution. The meeting having been duly convened, noted the incapacitation of the top leadership of the Party to execute their duties as enjoined by the Party’s Constitution.Chombo was among the expelled. press statement announcing Mugabe’s removal, 20 G40 members expelled[8]

Arrests

1st

In December 2017 when Operation Restore Legacy started Chombo was arrested by the military. It was believed that Chombo was held at the King George V1 Barracks ( Josiah Magama Tongogara Barracks)[9] Chombo was arrested after the military claimed that he was one of the criminals around the then President Robert Mugabe who needed to be brought to justice for bringing suffering to Zimbabweans through acts of corruption.

Chombo faced 3 counts dating 20 years ago. In the first count, Chombo was accused of fraudulently forging documents that included a lease to acquire Subdivisions “K” Portion of Nthaba portion of Glen Lorne from City of Harare where he is said to have signed and manufactured a fraudulent lease agreement on January 1 1997. The city of Harare was said to have been prejudiced of $900 000.

On the second count, which is the criminal abuse of duty by a public officer, Chombo was accused of having received an application from City of Harare for a change of use for an open space in Helensvale into a residential area in September 2006.He allegedly used his Ministerial power as the Local Government Minister to allocate it to a company he co-owns, called Harvest –Net Enterprises. The property was valued at $2 700 000.

On the third count, Chombo was accused of defrauding the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe through the Crops and Livestock Support Facility where he allegedly received $414 billion in Zimbabwean dollars. The court indicated that Chombo did not use the money for the intended purpose, which was buying capital equipment that included a 30 tonne lorry, 30 tonne truck and combine harvester, among others. He was, however, believed to have issued some cheques mainly through CBZ Bank for other purposes. [10]

2nd

Ignatius Chombo was arrested again later in the same month for criminal abuse of office over the way he handled the Garikai/Hlalani Kuhle programme in Whitecliff farm in Harare. Chombo was arrested while reporting at Marlborough Police Station as part of his bail conditions on other corruption charges he was facing.[11]

3rd

In February whilst on bail, Chombo was again charged with criminal abuse of office charge after he allegedly demanded 25% shares in a fish farming company. It was alleged that Chargan Vithal Rama approached Chombo to facilitate title deeds for a Chirundu Fish Farm. It was reported that Chombo demanded 25% for assisting him. Rama then promised to get back to Chombo which he never did and in 2012 Chombo gave an instruction to lease the property to Glory Boost without following proper procedures.[12]

Trivia

Businesses

Chombo was reported to an owner of many businesses around Zimbabwe as well as properties in South Africa. He is believed to own 10 top companies including Dickest and Harmdinger and safari lodges in Chiredzi, Hwange and Magunje.[13]

Extra Marital Affairs and Divorce

Chombo's ex-wife Marian Mhloyi was reported to have accused him of having extra-marital affairs and at one point called him a 'love rat' when he abandoned her in 2005. It was reported that he had been married to Marian since 1993 and left her for a former news anchor Nanette Silukhuni .[14]

Chombo was also once married to Ever Chombo.[15]

It was reported that Chombo had an affair with one Nanette Silukhuni who is a former employee of the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation. The alleged affair is said to have come to light when Marian Chombo,former wife to Ignatius Chombo sued him over the affair claiming a two billion dollar lawsuit for adultery.[16] Nanette Silukhuni was also said to be in the habit of going out with high profile men which included the likes of Roger Boka, Myethi Mpofu among others. It was also alleged that Nanette openly admitted to having been involved with Chombo and being customarily married to him. It was also reported that she professed ignorance of Chombo being married to any other woman, despite the fact that Chombo had been married to Marian since 1993.[16]

When the marriage of 25 years,to Marian Chombo, collapsed and they divorced in 2010, it was made public how much wealth he had accumulated over the years as a politician. Court documents exposed how Chombo had interest in many sectors of the economy. Chombo's property included:

  • 75 residential and commercial stands,
  • 14 houses and 5 flats
  • 3 100 hectares farm in Rafingora.
  • 15 Vehicles
  • Interest in several farms, mines and hunting safari lodges in Hwange, Chiredzi, Magunje and Chirundu
  • Properties in South Africa

In 2014, Chombo was reported to have been in court to settle the ownership of his farm between him and his ex-wife Marian. This is when details emerged that he never paid school fees for his two sons Nimrod and Ignatius since primary school.[17]

References

  1. Zanu-PF press statement announcing Mugabe’s removal, 20 G40 members expelled , NAME_OF_PUBLICATION_HERE, Published: 19 November 2017 , Retrieved: 20 November 2017
  2. Biography for Ignatius Chombo Biography for Ignatius Chombo, SILOBreaker, Published: January 15, 2009, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  3. Mrs. Marian Chombo, ZoomInfo, Retrieved July 1, 2014
  4. Chombo’s Corruption Case Resurfaces In Court, Voice Of The People, Published: September 5, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  5. Leased farm dogs Chombo, Mail and Guardian, Published: May 24, 2013, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  6. Chombo reinstates Mahachi,DailyNews, Published:2 February 2014, Retrieved: 13 April 2014
  7. Jacob W. Chikuhwa, ZIMBABWE:THE END OF THE FIRST REPUBLIC: The End of the First Republic, Page: 69. Arthur House, 2013.
  8. Zanu-PF press statement announcing Mugabe’s removal, 20 G40 members expelled , , Published: 19 November 2017 , Retrieved: 20 November 2017
  9. [ http://bulawayo24.com/index-id-news-sc-national-byo-122872.html ], Chombo released by soldiers, arrested by police, Published: 24 November 2017 , Retrieved: 24 November 2017
  10. Chombo charged, reveals ordeal, , Published: 26 November 2017 , Retrieved: 23 February 2018
  11. Chombo arrested again , , Published:14 December 2017 , Retrieved: 23 February 2018
  12. Chombo in court on fresh bribery charge, , Published:17 February 2018 , Retrieved: 23 February 2018
  13. Chombo: Abuse of Power or a Business Genius?, 3rdliberation, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  14. Chombo a love rat, says wife, New Zimbabwe, Published: December 11, 2009, Retrieved: July 1, 2014
  15. United States Congressional Serial Set, Serial No. 14976, House Documents. Page 6.
  16. 16.0 16.1 Chombo's mistress and her famous conquests, NewZimbabwe.com, Published: December 11, 2009, Retrieved: January 5, 2015
  17. Secrets out in nasty Chombo ex-wife farm fight, New Zimbabwe, Published:2 March 2014, Retrieved: 13 April 2014