ZACC launches corruption probe into Zimstat DG Taguma Mahonde
The Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) has launched investigations against Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) Director General (DG) Taguma Mahonde amid allegations of corruption and corporate malpractices.
The probe comes after a series of articles by Nehanda Radio exposing how Mahonde has been getting controversial benefits including money through school fees allowances while failing to produce receipts and invoices to acquit those funds as per standard requirement or good governance.
Official documents seen by Nehanda Radio reveal that he bought his service car, a Toyota Land Cruiser engine 1KD2030942, Chassis Number JTEBH9FJX0K029883, for US$300 for the services rendered in three years. He was then given Land Rover Discovery which was bought in 2021. He allegedly obtained two vehicles in five years which is against principles of good governance.
Against this background, Mahonde was called for interviews by ZACC yesterday (Thursday). This was after Nehanda Radio was also called the commission to help provide correspondence regarding the matter.
Contacted for a comment, Mahonde directed this publication to ZACC saying: I do not have a comment. Just go and ask ZACC”.
Nehanda Radio is in possession of an official letter authorising the disposal of the vehicle that was originally priced at US$28 000 was signed by the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) managing director Davison Mhaka. But Mahonde bought it for as little as US$300 before he was given another top of the range vehicle.
Documents are also there showing Mahonde requesting for school fees allowances, in USD, for the 2023 first term. This is despite the fact that all employees at Zimstat are paid in ZWL currency. An invoice of the payment is also there.
“This is very bad when he is crafting fake letters and discharging other innocent employees who are not thieves because of his wicked and evil selfish agenda,” a source from Zimstat said.
The source further alleged that, on 21 December 2022 Mahonde “proceeded to acquire a vehicle, number plate, AFB 4305, donated by the United Nations agencies for his personal benefit which is against the law because he is greedy.”
In October last year, Nehanda Radio exposed a damning dossier revealing alleged fraudulent activities taking place at Zimstat. It is alleged that DG Mahonde was working in cahoots with Finance Director Romania Nyahwa to fleece the agency of much needed resources.
Nyahwa was accused of allocating Zimstat funds and donations to Mahonde, buying him top of the range latest cars (vehicle registrations provided).
It is alleged that The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe donated some money to purchase 8 vehicles and 150 bikes for the agency operations. But the Finance Director “misappropriated” the funds on non-capital expenditure purchase of DG’s SUV Land Rover 4.0 (Reg. AFH 2919) without treasury concurrence.
“This is contrary to the Provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and this is tantamount to financial misconduct. The Agency lost 8 vehicles and 150 motor bikes to the Director and this is on record for verification,” read the dossier submitted to the Minister of Finance Mthuli Ncube and his permanent secretary George Guvamatanga,” read part of the dossier.
“Variation of the purchased vehicle for the DG was done fraudulently in a suspicious manner which is contrary to provisions of the Public Finance Management Act and the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Act and this is on record for verification.”