March 16, 2011

Temporary reprieve for arrested minister

Zimbabwe’s Energy and Power Development minister Elton Mangoma has after his arrest been released on $5,000 bail by a High Court judge. Mangoma, a close aide of Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, is accused of abusing his office by awarding a South African company a contract to supply Zimbabwe with five million litres of diesel at a time when the country had run out of fuel. Justice Samuel Kudya, in granting bail, noted that the case against the minister was very weak, as he did not personally benefit from the deal. Mr Mangoma’s case will open on March 28.

Moreover, Mangoma is also facing fresh criminal charges. New Allegations are that he instructed the cancellation of a tender involving the purchase and supply of prepayment revenue management system, meters and associated equipment, just as the winner was about to be announced. It is understood that the new tender was won by a company that the minister once worked for as a deputy general manager and whose tender specifications were written with the assistance of the minister’s personal assistant. (Zimbabwe Independent / The Zimbabwe Guardian)

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