Mangoma arrested plan to incapacitate MDC's treasury – Sources

HARARE – The arrest of Energy and Power Development Minister Elton Mangoma, a renowed Chartered Accountant is a political strategy by Zanu PF to incapacitate the treasury of the Movement for Democratic Change led by Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai, on the back of forced exile of Roy Bennet, sources said.

Roy Bennett is the party’s treasurer-general and Elton Mangoma is the deputy. Bennet, has been forced back into exile due to pending order for his arrest and a million dollar law suit filed by one of Robert Mugabe’s judges.

Mangoma is also is paying a heavy price for stopping corrupt ZANU PF heavyweights from benefitting from the procurement of fuel for Zimbabwe. 

Mangoma, a key member of the MDC-T and one of the party negotiators to the GPA, was picked up by three plain clothes police constables from his ministerial offices in Harare on Thursday.

Prime Minister Morgan Tsvangirai described his arrest as a continuation of the ‘calculated assault on the people of Zimbabwe’. Mangoma was picked up just as Robert Mugabe left the country to attend an African Union meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a trip which even Tsvangirai was unaware of.

More curiously was the timing of an announcement by the Supreme Court on Thursday to nullify the election of the MDC-T Speaker of Parliament, Lovemore Moyo, in Mugabe’s absence.

Mangoma denies any wrongdoing and pointed out to legislators in Parliament on Wednesday that as Energy Minister he has sweeping powers in an emergency to acquire fuel for the country without going to tender.

‘He even challenged all MPs in Parliament yesterday (Wednesday) to read the powers he has as Energy and Power Development Minister in case Zimbabwe runs out of fuel and energy. But obviously people from ZANU PF did not, and still wanted him dragged into a police cell to embarrass the MDC and tarnish his name,’ one MDC-T MP said.

A source told us Mangoma recently blocked a company called Solarhat, which is fronted by an Asian businessman in Harare but is wholly owned by ZANU PF, from supplying pre-paid meters for ZESA.

‘He discovered that all government contracts at the ministry are being pocketed by Robert Mugabe’s people. The irregularities he uncovered include bid rigging, the awarding of tenders to ZANU PF MPs, and ministers, and bypassing of the tender process in favour of certain suppliers, consultants and contractors.

Chombo is the Minister of Local Government, Urban and Rural Development who personally benefitted when he appointed a caretaker council in 2008 that awarded him vast tracks of land in Harare for virtually nothing.

This was the same time that a project to dualise the Harare International airport road was awarded to Augur Investments, a company that shared the same premises with Chombo’s Harvest-net Enterprises.

The MDC-T has long demanded that Chombo should account for his vast wealth, which includes dozens of residential and commercial properties, including scores of top of the range vehicles and commercial trucks, farms, some ten companies, mines and safari lodges. The matter was reported to the police and the Anti-Corruption Commission last year but no action has been taken.

‘ZANU PF corruption infests and infects every aspect of our economy and Government. To take an example amongst hundreds in the past year, more than three official complaints of corruption have been made to the police against Chombo and yet the police have refused to investigate these allegations.

‘The arrest of Mangoma is an attempt to cloud and obscure the massive corruption in Zimbabwe. It is an attempt to embarrass the party. The people of Zimbabwe are not foolish. The people of Zimbabwe are not cowards. The people of Zimbabwe will not accept this,’ Tsvangirai said.

Education: Goromonzi High School; Bachelors degree in Accountancy and Masters in Business Leadership.

Career: Deputy General Manger, Deloitte & Touche, 1978-1982; Colgate Palmolive, 1982-1987; Group Finance Director, Delta Corporation, 1987-1992; President, Institute of Chartered Accountants of Zimbabwe, 1990; Mangement Consultant, Hunyani Holdings, 1992-1994; Kudenga & Co., 1995-1999; founding member of the Movement for Democratic Change, 1999; Managing Director, Corporate Excellence, 2000 to date; National Assembly Member for Makoni Central, 2008; Minister for Economic Planning and Investment Promotion, 2009-10; Minister of Energy, 2010 to date.