Former minister, Ignatius Chombo has revealed that he is battling cancer and needs to get treatment. But a Harare magistrate has has dismissed his application for the temporary release of his passport.

Magistrate Estere Chivasa said :“The court cannot simply release the passport merely because the applicant has cancer. He made prosecution impossible, legally though, at the time when the State indicated that they are ready for trial and now he is requesting his passport persistently on the basis of an outdated document which militates against release of the passport on the changed circumstances.

“It is not in dispute that the applicant was diagnosed with cancer. A perusal of the doctor’s letter reveal apparent challenges as far as the requirements of the present application is concerned. Firstly, the applicant is relying on a document which is dated February 2019, we are now in July and that on its own presents a challenge in that it is the document that was relied upon in the previous application and legally, there is no change in circumstances. 

“While their reasons for not attending court are not known, this court cannot turn a blind eye to the fact that there is a trend to abuse the indulgence. The applicant is not being punished for other people’s sins but considering the nature of these applications and that they are informal, my view is that the interests of justice are paramount."