Zimbabwean authorities have arrested a minister in president Emmerson Mnangagwa's government on two corruption allegations.
The minister of state for presidential affairs responsible for monitoring and implementation of government programmes, Dr Joram Gumbo, was arrested on Monday.
According to Gumbo's charge sheet, seen by Fin24, he stands accused of using a relative's house as the offices of a state-owned company while he was transport minister in the Mugabe era, and using roughly R15m in taxpayer money to renovate the house.
He also stands accused of reinstating the head of a state-owned company who was previously fired amid corruption allegations. Davison Mhaka was found to have flaunted tender procedures in the procurement of R40m (at current exchange rates) worth of fuel, which was never delivered.
Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission spokesperson John Makamure confirmed the arrest and said Gumba will appear in court Tuesday.
Gumbo is the second minister in Mnangagwa's government to be arrested. In July, tourism minister Prisca Mupfumira was charged with corruptly misusing $95 million from the state pension fund and is currently out on bail.
Some Zimbabweans expressed their skepticism about the latest arrest on social media, and questioned whether it will lead to a conviction. Prominent lawyer Alex Magaisa tweeted that the local population is by now used to the "charade" of arrests.
Never mind the catch & release game with Jorum Gumbo. We are used to that charade. Surely, the priority must be to get back the money? US$2.7 million paid to First Fuel but the fuel was never supplied? Who owns First Fuel? A lot can be done with US$2.7 million. pic.twitter.com/RQKw6g4KlF— Alex T Magaisa ???? (@Wamagaisa) November 4, 2019
I knew that Joram Gumbo’s arrest was purely cosmetic! He is being accused of a US$1M crime and yet he has presided over corruption running into millions. The President simply doesn’t need him anymore in his cabinet and he has to take one for the team after noise about corruption pic.twitter.com/gL332F6SF6— Hopewell Chin'ono (@daddyhope) November 4, 2019