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Third MP arrested for abusing community funds

PUMULA legislator Albert Mhlanga (MDC-T) was yesterday arrested in Bulawayo on allegations of abusing the Constituency Development Fund. Under the fund, each constituency got US$50 000 for development projects.

PUMULA legislator Albert Mhlanga (MDC-T)
PUMULA legislator Albert Mhlanga (MDC-T)

Mhlanga was arrested at around 11am by officials from the Anti-Corruption Commission and detained at Donning Police Station. This brings to three the number of MPs arrested so far on allegations of abusing CDF.

Mhlanga is expected to appear in court today facing two counts of criminal abuse of power and office. On the first count, the legislator allegedly failed to account for US$7 680.

Anti-Corruption Commission officials said on the second charge, Mhlanga showed favour in the transfer of funds into Bulawayo Plumbers account. He owns the company. He reportedly transferred US$32 000 into his company account claiming that the firm had supplied goods when it had not.

Mhlanga reportedly also transferred a further US$9 000 into Alex Company’s bank account. Investigations also showed he transferred another US$2 000 to his friend’s company, Silver Sharp.

On Wednesday, Magunje legislator Franco Ndambakuwa (Zanu-PF) appeared in court facing two counts of fraud and three of theft involving over US$49 000. According to indictment papers, Magunje lost US$49 304 to Ndambakuwa (52). He is out on US$500 bail.

Last week, St Mary’s legislator Marvellous Khumalo (MDC-T) appeared in court for allegedly diverting the CDF money to personal use. The MP is reported to have bought himself a lorry before pocketing part of the money.

Meanwhile, a State Procurement Board executive has been arrested for criminal abuse of office as a public officer. Patrick Mushonga was arrested yesterday and is expected to appear in court today.

He reportedly flouted tender procedures and awarded a tender to Peace Security which had failed to meet the requirements. Officials at the board discovered the offence and a report was lodged with the police leading to Mushonga’s arrest.

A National University of Science and Technology student was also arrested in Bulawayo for allegedly forging an Advanced Level certificate to enrol at the university. Tatenda Kugara, who was doing a degree in engineering and manufacturing, was arrested by the Anti-Corruption Commission following a tip off by classmates.

It is reported that Kugara had not passed A Level and had one point. Investigations showed that he was helped by one David Masenga to forge a certificate with 10 points and used it to enrol at NUST.

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