Chombo’s niece gets govt lawyer

Clemence Manyukwe


LOCAL Government minister Ignatious Chombo has evicted a Harare woman from a government flat on the grounds that she was not a civil servant and given it to a female relative who is not a government employee.



align=justify>It also emerged this week that Chombo’s relative, Mavis Chimusoro, is now being represented by the Civil Division of the Attorney-General’s Office in a legal battle in which the evictee, Fungai Mutumbwa, is seeking to retain her tenancy in the flat in Harare’s Belvedere suburb.


Mutumbwa, who was renting the flat from a former civil servant, was evicted on March 14. The Harare magistrates court reserved judgement in the matter on Tuesday.


In an interview on Wednesday, Mutumbwa’s lawyer, Josiah Chinherede, said: “It came out during cross examination in court that the woman is the minister’s niece.”


He added that they were surprised why Chimusoro had been allowed to lease the property when she was not a civil servant and why the AG’s office was involved in a matter when it was supposed to represent government only.


Asked why the AG’s office was representing a non-civil servant, Clement Muchenga, the government lawyer representing Chimusoro, said: “That was not brought to our attention. We were assigned by the ministry to represent the woman who had entered a lease agreement with the minister. We only realised that she was not a civil servant during the course of the matter.”


Efforts to get a comment from Chombo were fruitless.


However, in court papers that led to Mutumbwa’s eviction, Chombo said: “The applicant (Mutumbwa) has no right to be in occupation of the flat. She is not a civil servant.”