Former Zimbabwe finance minister Ignatius Chombo, who was among those detained by the military when they seized power before Robert Mugabe resigned this week, appeared in court on Saturday to face corruption charges. This was Chombo’s first public appearance since he was detained almost two weeks ago.
He had no visible injuries and appeared calm, chatting with the police guarding him when the court took a break. He was dressed in dark blue suit. Chombo’s lawyer, Lovemore Madhuku, had said his client was admitted to hospital on Friday with injuries sustained from beatings he received in military custody. The police said they had no information on Chombo when asked to comment.
Madhuku has said the corruption and abuse-of-power charges against Chombo, who was expelled from the ruling ZANU-PF party on Sunday, related to his time as local government minister more than a decade ago.
Emmerson Mnangagwa, 75, the former vice president sacked by Mugabe earlier this month, was sworn in as president on Friday. On Thursday, Mnangagwa urged the country’s citizens not to undertake any form of “vengeful retribution”.
Some of Mnangagwa’s supporters have been calling for unspecified action against the so-called G40 group that backed Mugabe and his wife. Chombo and Chipanga were allied to the G40 group.