FORMER Foreign Affairs minister Walter Mzembi is likely to miss his business trip after his passport was withheld by the state until February 16.
Mzembi applied for temporary release of his passport on Monday indicating that he was going to return it to the clerk of court on his return from South Africa on February 19.
But magistrate, Rumbidzayi Mugwagwa, said she will deliver her ruling on the application on February 16 after the state, led by Michael Reza, challenged the application.
The prosecutor applied to say he wanted to tender a written response to the application.
Reza also submitted that there was new evidence linking Mzembi to the criminal abuse of duty charge he is facing which saw the state losing $1 million.
When he showed up at Rotten Row Magistrate court, Mzembi was in the company of his lawyer Job Sikhala and Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc) officers who said they were going to hand him over to the police after court proceedings.
Sikhala demanded that the state should produce its new evidence before the court.
The axed minister landed in the dock after he donated state property to top churches.
Mzembi insists that the charges he is facing are unfounded since he did not stray from his duties.
He allegedly donated state television sets to Walter Magaya’s Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) ministry and Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church (UFIC) as well as Zion Christian Church (ZCC).
It is his defence that at that particular time he was promoting his concept of religious tourism.
Mzembi is one of former President Robert Mugabe’s favourite ministers arrested so far as the dragnet closes in on G40 members.
According to the state, Mzembi donated 16 television sets worth $800 000 to the churches without cabinet approval.
Mzembi allegedly committed the offence in 2010 when he was Tourism and Hospitality minister.
It is alleged that he abused his duty by disposing 16 television screens to some churches without authority from treasury.