Zimbabwe's former finance Minister Ignatius Chombo was among those detained by the military before Robert Mugabe resigned as president. On Saturday he was charged with corruption, including trying to defraud the central bank in 2004. Pascale Davies reports.
Zimbabwe's ousted finance minister Ignatius Chombo arrived in handcuffs for a bail hearing on Monday (27 November). Over the weekend he was charged with corruption, including trying to defraud the central bank in 2004. Chombo was among those detained by the military before Robert Mugabe was pressured to resign as president. It was part of the army's so called "operation restore Legacy," designed to remove criminals around the long-serving leader. Chombo says he was kept blindfolded for nine days following his November 15 arrest. His lawyer says he was beaten while in detention. Now all eyes are on who replaces him at the finance ministry. The pressure is on Emmerson Mnangagwa, who was sworn in as the new President on Friday (24 November). He's vowed to rebuild Zimbabwe's ravaged economy and serve all citizens. Mnangagwa is expected to form a new cabinet this week, and the question is whether he will break with the past and name a broad-based government, or select old-guard figures from the Mugabe era. With an election looming next year, some say the opposition has little to gain from forming a coalition just eight months before the vote. Cyber Security Minister Patrick Chinamasa is among leading figures to say he sees no need for a coalition, as the ruling Zanu-PF party has a parliamentary majority. Meanwhile many Zimbabweans wonder whether a man who loyally served Mugabe for decades can really bring change to a ruling establishment accused of human rights abuses and disastrous economic policies.