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arrested for cutting out ZANU PF heavyweights from deals
Tichaona Sibanda, SW Radio Africa
March 10, 2011
Energy and Power Development
Minister Elton Mangoma is paying a heavy price for stopping corrupt
ZANU PF heavyweights from benefiting from the procurement of fuel
Mangoma, a key
member of the MDC-T and one of the party negotiators to the GPA,
was picked up by three plain-clothes police constables from his
ministerial offices in Harare on Thursday.
It is believed Mangoma
was taken in for questioning in connection with a US$5 million fuel
deal that saw his ministry pay a company called NOOA to supply diesel
for Matabeleland South province. It's alleged that not all
the fuel was delivered.
Morgan Tsvangirai described
his arrest as a continuation of the 'calculated assault
on the people of Zimbabwe'. Mangoma was picked up just as
Robert Mugabe left the country to attend an African Union meeting
in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a trip which even Tsvangirai was unaware
was the timing of an announcement by the Supreme Court on Thursday
to nullify the election
of the MDC-T Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, in Mugabe's
that a Cabinet minister can be arrested by a constable is a reflection
of ZANU PF's total disregard to the basic tenets of decency.
His arrest is an assault on the GPA. Mangoma, just like Mwonzora,
(MDC-T MP) Munyaradzi
Gwisai and Rodgers Tazviona (MDC-T MP) are all innocent victims
of a barbaric and senseless dictatorship,' Tsvangirai said.
Mangoma denies any wrongdoing
and pointed out to legislators in Parliament on Wednesday that as
Energy Minister he has sweeping powers in an emergency to acquire
fuel for the country without going to tender.
'He even challenged
all MPs in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday) to read the powers he
has as Energy and Power Development Minister in case Zimbabwe runs
out of fuel and energy. But obviously people from ZANU PF did not,
and still wanted him dragged into a police cell to embarrass the
MDC and tarnish his name,' one MDC-T MP said.
Mangoma, a successful
businessman and deputy treasurer-general for the MDC has, during
his short tenure as Energy Minister, uncovered many irregularities
to do with fuel tenders and the supply of equipment to the state
utility power company, ZESA.
A source told us Mangoma
recently blocked a company called Solarhat, which is fronted by
an Asian businessman in Harare but is wholly owned by ZANU PF, from
supplying pre-paid meters for ZESA.
that all government contracts at the ministry are being pocketed
by Robert Mugabe's people. The irregularities he uncovered
include bid rigging, the awarding of tenders to ZANU PF MPs, and
ministers, and bypassing of the tender process in favour of certain
suppliers, consultants and contractors.
'ZANU PF declared
war on him but can you compare what he did, trying to alleviate
the country's fuel challenges to what Ignatius Chombo has
done,' the MDC source added.
Chombo is the Minister
of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development who personally
benefitted when he appointed a caretaker council in 2008 that awarded
him vast tracks of land in Harare for virtually nothing.
This was the same time that a project to dualise the Harare International
airport road was awarded to Augur Investments, a company that shared
the same premises with Chombo's Harvest-net Enterprises.
The MDC-T has long demanded
that Chombo should account for his vast wealth, which includes dozens
of residential and commercial properties, including scores of top
of the range vehicles and commercial trucks, farms, some ten companies,
mines and safari lodges. The matter was reported to the police and
the Anti-Corruption Commission last year but no action has been
'ZANU PF corruption
infests and infects every aspect of our economy and Government.
To take an example amongst hundreds in the past year, more than
three official complaints of corruption have been made to the police
against Chombo and yet the police have refused to investigate these
'The arrest of
Mangoma is an attempt to cloud and obscure the massive corruption
in Zimbabwe. It is an attempt to embarrass the party. The people
of Zimbabwe are not foolish. The people of Zimbabwe are not cowards.
The people of Zimbabwe will not accept this,' Tsvangirai said.
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