Zimbabwe ex-minister arrested for criminal abuse of office
Harare ‑ Former information, communication, technology, postal and courier services minister Supa Mandiwanzira was Tuesday arrested on allegations of criminal abuse of office after he single-handedly engaged Megawatt Company to do consultancy work without due process.
He was accompanied to the police station by his lawyers, including Selby Hwacha, instructing Advocates Thembi Magwalina and Brian Hungwe, on his return from China.
A minister during former President Robert Mugabe’s tenure and also roped into Emmerson Mnangagwa’s cabinet after last November’s coup, Mandiwanzira allegedly picked Megawatt Company, a company he reportedly has interests in, to do consultancy work for State-owned telecommunications firm NetOne without going to tender.
Mandiwanzira also allegedly directed NetOne to pay the firm $4 million for the service and $1 million for consultancy.
He was also accused of appointing his personal assistant, Tawanda Chinembiri, a government employee at director level, to the Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe board.
The youthful former minister is expected to appear in court Wednesday.
His lawyers confirmed the arrest, saying Mandiwanzira, a former journalist, handed himself over to the police and was denying the allegations.
“Honourable Mandiwanzira handed himself over to the police upon return from a business trip overseas and he is denying the allegations. He advised the police that Megawatt offered consultancy services at no cost to the government and that consultancy led to the recovery of tens of thousands of dollars for NetOne,” the lawyers’ statement read.
African News Agency (ANA)