HARARE-POLICE on Tuesday arrested and detained MDC Renewal Team Treasurer-General Elton Mangoma for allegedly flouting tender procedures when he served as energy minister two years ago, the Zimbabwe Lawyers for Human Rights (ZLHR) confirmed.
Mangoma, who is represented by ZLHR board chair Beatrice Mtetwa, reported at Harare Central Police Station around 9:30 am and was interrogated by Inspector Mandizha before he was locked up.
Mangoma was charged with criminal abuse of public office.
Police are accusing Mangoma of ordering the Managing Director of the Zimbabwe Electricity Transmission and Distribution Company to cancel a tender for the sale of prepaid electricity tokens and award it to OK Zimbabwe without going to tender.
Lawyers said attempts to have the former Makoni North MP released so he could attend court proceedings from home were not entertained by the police who proceeded to lock him up after charging him.
MDC Renewal spokesperson Jacob Mafume condemned the arrest of his colleague saying the move was a desperate attempt by the government to continue vilifying opposition party members at the expense of “corrupt” ZANU PF and government officials.
“This is a criminal abuse of the police force to settle scores by people who were not awarded tenders,” said Mafume.
“The people have hopelessly corrupted the system that the corrupt are now doing the arresting”.
This is the third time for Mangoma to be arrested for allegedly abusing public office.
In 2011 he was arrested twice and was finally charged for corruption relating to a botched US$5 million fuel deal.
During that time, the police suspected that Mangoma could have used his clout to influence the selection of NOOA Petroleum for the supply of five million litres of fuel in a deal consummated at the beginning of that year.
Tender procedures were reportedly not followed and NOOA Petroleum was not even registered on the list of companies allowed to do business with government by the State Procurement Board (SPB).
Mangoma was in June of the same year cleared of the corruption charges.