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Zimbabwe ex-minister Chombo in court on corruption charges

November 25, 2017 3:38 pm

Zimbabwe’s former finance minister, who taken into custody by the military after it took power, has appeared in court in Harare on corruption charges.

A lawyer for Ignatius Chombo said the ex-minister had been beaten in custody, although the police have denied this.

Mr Chombo faces corruption charges for alleged offences that date back more than a decade.

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He will be detained until Monday when the court will rule on whether he should be bailed.

Separately, the high court has ruled that the military takeover – which saw former President Robert Mugabe placed under house arrest on 14 November – was legal.

“The actions of the Zimbabwe Defence Forces to stop the usurping of power by those close to former president Robert Mugabe are constitutional,” the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation quotes the court as saying.

The court also ruled “null and void” the sacking by Mr Mugabe of then Vice-President Emmerson Mnangagwa earlier this month.

The military takeover was widely seen as a reaction to moves by Mr Mugabe to ensure his wife, Grace, succeeded him, and against the sacking of Mr Mnangagwa, who became president on Friday.

The high court said its ruling would prevent non-elected individuals exercising powers only open to those who have been elected.

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