FORMER Tourism Minister Walter Mzembi has been arrested for criminal abuse of office after he allegedly donated three television sets to two religious organizations without seeking the approval of the Finance Minister in violation of the Finance Act, his lawyer has said.
Lawyer Job Sikhala said the charges against Mzembi are the former minister allegedly donated two television set to Prophet Emmanuel Makandiwa’s United Family International Church (UFIC) and another to Prophet Walter Magaya’s Prophet Healing Deliverance (PHD) without approval from the minister of finance.
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“He is being charged with criminal abuse of office and we are hoping to appear in court tomorrow morning. The circumstances have to do with the donations that he made in his bid to promote religious tourism. He is being charged with violating the Finance Act,” said Sikhala adding that the televisions set were bought during the 2010 world cup.
Sikhala, who was at the offices of the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) said he believed that his client’s actions were not inconsistent with his duties.
Mzembi becomes the third minister to be arrested for criminal abuse of office ever since the demise of former President Robert Mugabe in November last year. Former finance minister Ignatious Chombo and former sports, arts and recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwani are also facing criminal charges before the courts.
President Emerson Mnangagwa has vowed to fight corruption from within the government and the private sector.