Chombo’s fight for passport takes a new twist…as he takes NPA to High Court

Former cabinet minister Ignatius Chombo has escalated his fight to  recover his passport and dragged the National Prosecuting Authority together with three other defendants to the High Court seeking a mandamus to compel them to release his passport which was unlawfully confiscated by a ‘state security’ agent.

Chombo through his lawyer Lovemore Madhuku on Thursday filed an urgent chamber application citing the NPA, clerk of court, Harare Magistrate Court, magistrate Barbra Mateko and magistrate Lazini Ncube as respondents.

He made the application in terms of section 164(3) of the Constitution of Zimbabwe, 2013, for a mandamus to compel the clerk of court to obey an order of court.

They made the application on the basis that on May 10 and at the magistrates court Mateko issued an order temporarily varying the bail conditions for Chombo by allowing him possession of his passport up to June 21, 2019 to enable him to travel to South Africa for medical purposes.

The passport was released as per the court order and on May 12 at Robert Mugabe International Airport, while Chombo had completed all departure formalities and ready to board his flight to South Africa, an unknown man believed to be state agent took his passport for what he described as “security checks” and disappeared.

The alleged State agent did not return the passport to Chombo making it impossible for him and his family to travel for his medical treatment. 

Chombo through his lawyers argued that this caused serious inconveniences to the airline, other passengers, his doctors in South Africa as well as his family.

The application also states that the passport that had been unlawfully taken away from him by the State agent, was accepted by the clerk of court in very unclear circumstances and it is still in their custody as they have refused to release it.

He went on to make an application for a mandamus before Ncube to compel the clerk of court to release the passport but the application was dismissed on the basis that that court he had no jurisdiction to do so.