Former Minister of ICT, Postal and Courier Services, Supa Mandiwanzira has been arrested and is facing charges of criminal abuse of office.
The Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) Senior Staff Officer Press and Public Relations Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi confirmed Mandiwanzira’s the arrest, saying he will appear in court tomorrow to answer charges of contravening section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, chapter 9:23 criminal abuse of office.
He said the Nyanga South legislator Mandiwanzira’s arrest is in connection with audit contract awarded to Megawatt Company without going to tender, an entity the ex-minister had interest.
Assistant Commissioner Nyathi also said Mandiwanzira went on to direct NetOne to pay US$4 million for the service and US$1 million for consultancy.
“The payments were stopped by the Procurement Regulating Authority of Zimbabwe as Megawatt Company had been unprocedurally awarded the contract,” the statement read.
Police said Mandiwanzira is also facing charges of unprocedurally seconding Tawanda Chinembiri (his personal assistant at deputy director level) to the POTRAZ board without following the required due process which prejudiced the telecommunications regulator of US$35 000 through allowances drawn by Chinembiri.
Mandiwanzira’s lawyers, Advocate Thembinkosi Magwaliba and Advocate Brian Hungwe, on instructions of Selby Hwacha of Dube Manikai and Hwacha, said their client presented himself to the police and denies the allegations.
“The police interviewed him in connection with allegations of abuse of office on two issues………[and] Mandiwanzira denied the allegations and advised the police that Megawatt offered consultancy services at no cost to the government. That consultancy led to the recovery of tens of million dollars for NetOne,” they said in a statement.
The lawyers further indicated that Mandiwanzira explained that no corporate governance principles or any circular, were violated in the appointment of the PA as a POTRAZ member.