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Saturday, Jan 19th

Zimbabwe's former ICT Minister arrested

Zimbabwe's former ICT Minister arrested

Zimbabwe's former ICT Minister Supa Mandiwanzira has been arrested and charged with criminal abuse of office.

Officials say charges relate to allegations of irregular board appointments at the Posts and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of Zimbabwe (Potraz) and awarding of an audit contract for state-owned telco NetOne without adhering to regulatory tender process.

Zimbabwe police have confirmed that Mandiwanzira is due to appear in court today over the charges, according to local law enforcement.

Advocates Thembinkosi Magwaliba and Brian Hungwe, part of the legal team representing the former ICT Minister, said last night that Mandiwanzira was initially interviewed by police on allegations that he "engaged Megawatt company to do consultancy work for NetOne" without going to tender.

Mandiwanzira is also accused of appointing his personal assistant to "the Potraz board in violation of corporate governance principles and a cabinet circular".

President Emerson Mnangagwa did not extend Mandiwanzira's tenure as ICT Minister earlier this year amid widespread allegations, including statements and dossiers forwarded to the President's office by former executives at NetOne.

The documents reportedly implicate Mandiwanzira in corrupt activities during his term of office.

Former NetOne Chief Executive officer Reward Kangai has accused Mandiwanzira of forcing him out of office after he refused to "endorse corrupt activities".

In a statement Mandiwanzira's legal team confirmed that the former ICT Minister "denied the allegations and advised the police that Megawatt offered consultancy services at no cost" to the government.

"He also explained that no corporate governance principles or any circular were violated in the appointment of his personal assistant as a Potraz board member," the statement continues.

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