Ex-Zim energy minister appears on corruption charges

2015-05-13 20:28
Elton Mangoma (File: AFP)

Elton Mangoma (File: AFP)

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Harare - Former Zimbabwe Energy Minister Elton Mangoma arrested on corruption charges appeared in the Harare Magistrate's Court on Wednesday and was granted $1 000 bail.

Mangoma who is also a top official of the opposition Movement for Democratic Change (MDC) Renewal party appeared before Harare Magistrate Douglas Chikwekwe charged under Section 174 of the Criminal Law.

He is being accused of criminal abuse of public office when he was still Energy Minister in September 2012.

The State alleges that Mangoma ordered an accountant with Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission Distribution Company (ZETDC), Julian Masanga Chinembiri, to cancel tender number ZEDTC 13/2012 without following correct procedures.

The former Minister denies the charges.

Mangoma was granted $1 000 bail and also ordered to report to Harare Police Serious Fraud Section once a week. He was ordered to surrender his passport to the State and stay at his Mount Pleasant home until finalisation of the case.

During the court session, Mangoma’s lawyer, Beatrice Mtetwa of Zimbabwe Layers  for Human Rights (ZLHR), blasted the prosecutors for failing to clearly  state the charges his client was facing.

Mangoma was arrested on Tuesday morning after handing himself to police who had indicated they wanted to question him on some corruption case.

Mangoma also served as economic planning minister in a coalition government that was in power in Zimbabwe between 2009 - 2013.

He was then a member of the main opposition MDC. He left the party with disgruntled former MDC secretary general Tendai Biti last year to form MDC Renewal.

Mangoma is not new to Zimbabwe's infamously dirty and, at times, lice-riddled police cells. He was once arrested in March 2011 on corruption charges that his ex-Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai then said were politically-motivated.

A widely-distributed photo of him being greeted by his elderly mother at the prison gate when he was finally freed in April 2011 touched hearts across Zimbabwe and beyond.

Mangoma was later cleared of all charges.

On Wednesday, MDC Renewal dismissed the fresh charges against Mangoma as harassment of the top opposition official by the President Robert Mugabe regime using the police.

Read more on:    mdc  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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