WASHINGTON — Zimbabwean parliamentarian and former Information Technology Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has been arrested following accusations that he abused his office while he was still government minister.
Police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi and Mandiwanzira’s attorneys confirmed that the former minister handed himself to the police Tuesday soon after arriving in the country from an overseas business trip.
In a statement, Nyathi said, “The ZRP confirms the arrest of Nyanga South Member of Parliament and former Minister of Information Communication Technology and Cyber Security Cde Supa Mandiwanzira in connection with two counts of contravening section 174 of the Criminal Law (Codification and Reform) Act, chapter 9:23 ‘criminal abuse of office’.
“This is in connection with (an) audit contract awarded to Megawatt Company without going to tender, an entity in which Cde Mandiwanzira had interests and subsequent directive by him for NetOne to pay $4 million for the service and $1 million for consultancy.”
He said Mandiwanzira is also facing charges of “unprocedurally seconding Tawanda Chinembiri to the PORTRAZ (Posts and Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe) board without following the required due process and subsequent loss of $35,000 by POTRAZ through allowances drawn by Chinembiri.”
Mandiwanzira, who is expected to appear in court Wednesday, will spend the night at Matapi Police Station in Harare.
His attorneys, Thembinkosi Magwaliba and Brian Hungwe being instructed by Selby Hwacha, confirmed Mandiwanzira’s arrest in a statement, noting that their client 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 millions of dollars for NetOne. He explained that no corporate governance principles of any circular were violated in the appointment of a PA as a POTRAZ board member.”
He is among some former ministers who have been arrested following the removal of Robert Mugabe from power last November by the military, parliament and Zanu PF.