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Former Health Minister’s PA arrested

Gideon Mapokotera

Herald Reporter

A former personal assistant to sacked Health and Child Care Minister Obadiah Moyo was arrested yesterday on allegations of criminal abuse of office.

Gideon Mapokotera was picked at 2.30pm yesterday by law enforcement agents on allegations of illegal issuance of visas in contravention of the Criminal Law Codification and Reform Act.

He is accused of illegally facilitating the issuance of visas to Ali Mohammad and his family to gain entry into Zimbabwe.

Muhammad has a case pending before the courts where he is charged together with suspended Zimbabwe Miners Federation president Henrietta Rushwaya and others with smuggling and unlawful possession of gold.

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It is the State’s case that Mapokotera acted unlawfully in the discharge of his duties by signing and dispatching letters to the Department of Immigration to facilitate the issuance of visas to Ali Mohammad.

The accused created visa application letters on June 18, 2019, for a single entry visa, and September 26, 2019, for a multiple entry visa.

On November 24, 2019, he is alleged to have created multiple entry visas for Ali Mohammad’s family, made up of his wife and six children.

“The accused person had not been given authority by his principal and further did not bring the heinous development to the attention of authorities up to November 25, 2020, when the principal was made aware after investigations commenced,” some of the allegations against him seen by The Herald read.

President Mnangagwa’s administration has been pulling all the stops in the fight against corruption and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) and the Special Anti-Corruption Unit, have been mandated to deepen the fight against graft in all its forms.

The arrests are part of accelerated efforts by President Mnangagwa’s administration to fight corruption, which is seen as a major drawback in economic revival. President Mnangagwa has indicated that days for catching-and-releasing corruption suspects are over.

High-ranking officials, including ministers alleged to have been involved in corruption, have since been arrested and their cases are at various stages of completion.

Recently, President Mnangagwa tweeted: “Let me be very clear. If you engage in or promote corruption, you will be arrested and prosecuted. There are no excuses for corruption. No one is above the law.”

Those abusing offices, and name-dropping of high ranking figures have also been warned that the long arm of the law will descend on them.

HERALD

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