International

Ousted Zimbabwe finance minister hospitalised, says lawyer

Former Zimbabwean finance minister Ignatius Chombo has been admitted to hospital with injuries sustained from beatings he received while in military custody after the army's intervention against Robert Mugabe a week ago, his lawyer said.

Key points:

  • Chombo blindfolded throughout his week in custody, says lawyer
  • Being accused of corruption and abuse of power, says lawyer
  • Emmerson Mnangagwa, set to become Zimbabwe's 2nd leader since independence

Lovemore Madhuku said Mr Chombo had injuries to his hands, legs and back and was blindfolded throughout his week in custody.

He was being accused of corruption and abuse of power relating to his time as local government minister more than a decade ago, Mr Madhuku added.

"It was a very brutal and draconian way of dealing with opponents," he said.

Zimbabweans have converged on a stadium ahead of the presidential inauguration of Emmerson Mnangagwa, who will become the country's second leader since independence from white minority rule in 1980.

Mr Mnangagwa, fired earlier this month as vice president, is poised to lead after the resignation of 93-year-old Robert Mugabe, who succumbed to pressure to quit from the military, the ruling party and massive demonstrations.

Mr Mnangagwa, a former justice and defence minister, was a key Mugabe confidant for decades until they fell out because of the presidential ambitions of Mugabe's wife, Grace.

Despite his long association with the government, Mr Mnangagwa has promised democracy.

In the end, Mr Mugabe was isolated and showing few of the political skills that kept him in power for 37 years.

He will not attend Friday's swearing-in.

Reuters/AP

Original Article

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