The Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commssion (ZACC) this week swooped on Mutoko Rural District Council and arrested the local authority’s acting chief executive Samson Zulu over a slew of corruption charges.
He allegedly flouted procurement procedures by corruptly engaging a group of youths for roadworks without going to tender.
Zulu also stands accused of corruptly selling a business stand to an individual.
He also faces another count of awarding a tender for repair of a council vehicle to an individual, who is not on the list of approved dealers, and approved payment without inviting other bidders.
ZACC investigators this week arrested Zulu following an outcry by Mutoko residents.
ZACC spokesperson Commissioner John Makamure confirmed the arrest of Zulu saying he had since appeared in court for three counts of criminal abuse of office.
“I can confirm the arrest of Samson Zulu, the acting chief executive officer of Mutoko Rural District Council. He appeared in court facing three counts of criminal abuse of duty as a public officer as defined in section 174 of the criminal law (codification and reform) act chapter 9:23,” he said.
A Mutoko magistrate freed Zulu on $10 000 bail.
Mutoko Rural District Council, being a procuring entity under the Ministry of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing, is governed by the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act for all its procurement of goods and services.
In January this year, Zulu allegedly mooted an idea to maintain and repair Oliver Newton Road, in Mutoko which was in bad state.
He allegedly flouted procurement procedures and offered the work to a group of young people in Mutoko’s Ward 20 without advertising or even considering at least three different bids as provided for in the laws of the country.
He reportedly facilitated the release of $140 000 to the youths without assessment of the work by an engineer.
Since Mutoko Rural District Council engineer was on suspension, council could have sought the services of the District Development Fund engineers.
In February this year, Zulu is said to have corruptly sold a business stand, Number 6940 Mutoko Centre to Clemence Mweleya without following due procedure.
He allegedly instructed Mweleya to deposit into Mutoko Rural District Council CBZ Nostro account number 24148840110 a down payment of US$50 000 for the stand.
Mweleya undertook to make a full payment on terms that would be set by council.
Mutoko Council’s Works Committee, refused to sanitise the property sale.
Upon realising that he had committed an offence and in a bid to cover up the offence, the accused allegedly advertised a tender for the sale of the said stand on February 21.
In February this year, Zulu took council’s Isuzu vehicle registration number AAE 9013 to an individual called Peter Paradza in violation of the procurement regulations.
Paradza was not listed among dealers authorised by the Procurement Regulatory Authjority of Zimbabwe (PRAZ) but he was paid $58 500 for servicing of the vehicle’s brakes.
“Accused person did not follow the above procedure for the fix and supply of brakes of Isuzu vehicle registration number AAE 9013.
“Instead accused handpicked and awarded the job to Peter Paradza who is not an authorised dealer and without sourcing three or more quotations from registered service providers.
“Accused person corruptly authorized Peter Paradza to repair the Isuzu AAE 9013 and later on authorised payment of $58 500-00 for the repair works which was paid to Peter Paradza through Mutoko Rural District Council Steward bank account number 1006704294.
“Accused acted contrary to or inconsistent with his duties as a public officer and his conduct was in apparent show of favour to Peter Paradza and disfavour to prospective registered service providers for the said services had proper procedure been followed,” said Comm Makamure.