The High Court on Wednesday released jailed former Air Zimbabwe chief executive Peter Chikumba on US$2 000 bail as he contests his conviction on a charge of criminal abuse of duty.

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Mr Peter Chikumba

Mr Peter Chikumba

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In granting the order, Justice Joseph Martin Mafusire instructed Chikumba to surrender title deeds to his Borrowdale home and report to police once every week.

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“In my view, the applicant was not a public officer. In my view, the appeal court is likely to find that the applicant was wrongly convicted,” said Justice Mafusire.

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“But if l am wrong on this, the two judges of appeal will correct it. For now I find the prospects of the applicant’s appeal are free from predictable failure.”

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Chikumba was convicted for an effective seven years for criminal abuse of duty under the Criminal Law (Codification Reform) Act.

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Justice Mafusire accepted the argument by Advocate Thabani Mpofu who is acting for Chikumba, that the discovery that his client was not a public officer constituted changed circumstances warranting him to bring such an application.

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A charge of criminal abuse of duty is only applicable to public officers as defined in the country’s statutes.