Ex-mines minister Chidhakwa arrested

FORMER Mines minister Walter Chidhakwa was arrested yesterday on charges of corruption by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (Zacc).

Kudzai Kuwaza/ Elias Mambo

Chidhakwa, who is detained at Rhodesville Police Station in Harare and is expected to appear in court today, joins former finance minister Ignatius Chombo, former Mines secretary Francis Gudyanga and former Zanu PF youth secretary Kudzanayi Chipanga on the list of those who have been arrested over various allegations since former president Robert Mugabe’s ouster.

Police spokesperson Senior Assistant Commissioner Charity Charamba confirmed Chidhakwa’s arrest last night.

“He was arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission. He is detained at Rhodesville Police Station,” Charamba said.

A source close to the investigation revealed that: “Chidhakwa was called in the morning by Zacc to come to their offices at midday.

“He was interviewed until 4pm on a number of issues including the appointment of the Minerals Marketing Corporation of Zimbabwe (MMCZ) board where Gudyanga ran a one-man band. Chidhakwa was then taken to Rhodesville Police Station and he will appear in court tomorrow (today).”

Gudyanga was arrested over charges of corruption and abuse of office stemming from his time as Secretary for Mines and Mining Development. He allegedly dissolved the MMCZ board in December 2013 and assumed the chairmanship until September 2016.

It is alleged he corruptly received board fees and sitting allowances totalling US$28 910 in contravention of the MMCZ Act (Chapter 21:04) which says a board comprises at least six members and a maximum of 10.

MMCZ, according to the State, did not have a board at the time, meaning the money was not due to him.

Chidhakwa’s arrest came as President Emmerson Mnangagwa vowed to clamp down on corruption in his inaugural State of The Nation address yesterday.

“My government will be based on crown values of honesty, transparency and hard work. Every corrupt case must be investigated and punished accordingly. No sacred cows. It has already begun,” warned Mnangagwa.

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