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Former Local Government Minister Ignatius Chombo has applied to be officially readmitted into ZANU PF.
“Whitehead”, as he is affectionately known, was expelled from the ruling party following the launch of “Operation Restore Legacy”, a euphemism for the November 2017 military coup that ousted late former president Robert Mugabe.
On 30 August 2023, the National Prosecuting Authority withdrew two charges of corruption against Chombo which he was facing before Magistrate Marehwanazvo Gofa.
All the cases that were being investigated by the Zimbabwe Republic Police including fraud and criminal abuse of office had already been withdrawn.
In the aftermath of NPA’s withdrawal of all charges against him, Chombo wrote to ZANU PF Mashonaland West Chairperson, Mary Mliswa-Chikoka, requesting to rejoin the party.
The letter dated 10 October 2023, seen by NewZimbabwe.com reads:
l write to you requesting to be admitted into the party following the five-year hiatus (2017—2023). Please let me know if you need more information…
On Friday last week, the ZANU PF Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) convened a meeting in Chinhoyi where Chombo’s application was read and discussed.
Most of the attendees reportedly unanimously agreed that the 71-year-old ex-minister should be given another chance to serve the party.
On Sunday, Mliswa-Chikoka brought the communication for endorsement by the Provincial Coordinating Committee (PCC) at its meeting held at Orange Grove Motel.
She then invited ZANU PF Politburo member Ziyambi Ziyambi, as a Zvimba District senior representative, to give guidance on how to proceed with Chombo’s application as he hails from that area. Said Ziyambi:
As Zvimba, we agreed that he was a helpful person who sponsored ZANU PF events and programmes (during his hiatus) and that his pending court cases were all cleared. Therefore, there is absolutely no reason to object to his readmission.
Chombo served as Minister of Local Government, Public Works and Urban Development from 2000 to 2015 before his appointment as Home Affairs Minister from 2015 to 2017.
He was then appointed Finance Minister in 2017 before being sacked following Mugabe’s ouster.