Former Zimbabwean finance minister Ignatius Chombo has got bail by High Court Judge Edith Mushore.
The judge freed the ousted finance minister on bail on Thursday in a ruling that underlined judicial independence just three weeks after the army helped depose Robert Mugabe.
Chombo, a senior member of the ‘G40’ faction of the ruling party that was targeted in the military’s Nov. 15 intervention, was dragged from his home in the middle of the night and held incommunicado by soldiers at an undisclosed location for a week, reports Reuters.
During that time he was beaten, according to his lawyer. He was arrested by police on his release and charged with fraud and abuse of office relating to his time as a government minister over a decade ago.
The Harare magistrate’s court denied him bail.
However, High Court judge Edith Mushore condemned that ruling as “littered with mis-directions” and “wading into the muddy court of public opinion” after the massive army-backed protests that helped topple Mugabe after 37 years in power.
Chombo, 65, was ordered to be released on $5,000 bail, surrender his passport and the title deeds of his Harare mansion and report to a police station in the capital three times a day.