His record in that regard has little competition;
- In 2007, a tape was played in court where Chombo was heard appearing to ask for a $70 000 bribe from Jayesh Shah, in exchange for supplying buses to Zupco, the state owned bus company. The head of Zupco, Charles Nherera, went away for two years instead. The police officer investigating Chombo was transferred to a rural post in Manicaland.
- In 2010, it was revealed in a divorce case that Chombo owned over a hundred properties across the country. The assets ranged from homes in Glenview to flats in Harare, stands in Beitbridge, prime real estate in Glen Lorne and large tracts of land on the banks of the Zambezi in Binga.
- A 2010 report into Harare revealed how Chombo amassed vast properties in the capital; he would identify pieces of land, and he would essentially apply to himself for the right to buy the land. The councillors who were part of that investigation were all arrested.
- A report revealed how brazen Chombo was; it was revealed that Augur Investments, the company Chombo himself awarded the contract for the project, shared the same address – 62 Quorn Road in Mt Pleasant – with Chombo’s company, Harvestnet Investments.
- Augur had signed the deal without ever going to tender, and before it was even registered. It only registered months later, in Estonia. The company’s foreign address led to a small flat in an industrial district of Estonia’s capital, Tallinn.
- A separate audit by the Auditor-General into the construction of the Harare airport road showed that Harare City Council was overpaying for the project.
Despite all this, Chombo has for years shown great skill in self-preservation.
He has survived all these claims of corruption because he knew very well what many have failed to learn; take care of Mugabe’s interests and everything else, from sleaze to incompetence, becomes irrelevant.
“People expect me to act on corruption. They say so-and-so has emerged rich, has bought houses and is corrupt without proving it. How do you prove they stole? We cannot victimise people because there is an appearance of a person prospering,” Mugabe said at one time, when quizzed on the wealth of the likes of Chombo.
Mugabe obviously knows the corruption around him.
He simply chooses it to control his lieutenants, and Chombo will always be on a short leash.
His loyalty to Mugabe has been total, and he has oiled it well.
While he was on a property acquisition spree, he never forgot to pay his dues.
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