Freedom Mupanedemo Midlands Bureau
Gokwe town secretary Melania Mandeya (49) has been arrested for alleged criminal abuse of office charges involving the flouting of tender procedures, inflating figures in debt payments and nepotism.
She was by yesterday afternoon still assisting police with investigations.
Acting police spokesperson for Midlands Province, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende, said she was yet to get more details.
Gokwe Town Council chairman Mr Never Gwanzura confirmed the arrest.
“Officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) came and picked up our town secretary at work and when we made a follow up this afternoon (yesterday), she was still in the cells with the police saying she is only likely to go to court tomorrow (today),” said Mr Gwanzura.
Mr Gwanzura said Mandeya was facing criminal abuse of office charges, but could not be drawn into details.
The Herald is in possession of a report compiled by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) which prompted Mandeya’s arrest.
The report, which was copied to the Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, the police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) accuses Mandeya of maladministration and abuse of office.
“We are pleased to forward a report compiled by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) on possible cases of corruption at the Gokwe Town Council (GTC).
“The report was compiled following an invitation by residents, ratepayers and other special interest groups within the jurisdiction of the local authority. ACT-SA conducted face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions and reviewed secondary data, which facilitated the compilation of the attached report,
“Most of the allegations are supported by documentary evidence which either ACT-SA or complainants (residents, ratepayers and other interest groups) are willing to share to facilitate investigations. There is a critical mass of individuals willing to give more information, in the event that your organisations want to start investigations,” read part of the report.
The report also accused Mandeya of awarding tenders to her friends and family members without following procedure.
The town secretary is also accused of inflating figures when she bought a top-of-the-range vehicle for use on council business.
“There is rampant corruption on the awarding of tenders. This allegedly favours the town secretary’s family members, friends and compatriots. For instance, the tender for the supply of curtains for the Town House did not only violate tender regulations, but was awarded to a relative who was staying in the same house with the town secretary at the time of the award,” read the report.