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Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Chokuda arrested over alleged corruption

The Zimbabwe Anti-corruption Commission (ZACC) has arrested Clerk of Parliament Kennedy Mugove Chokuda for “Criminal Abuse of Duty as a Public Officer.”

The commission announced the development in a statement on Thursday afternoon. More details pertaining to his arrest are yet to be released.

“ZACC has arrested Clerk of Parliament, Mr Kennedy Mugove Chokuda for Criminal Abuse of Duty as a Public Officer as defined in section 174 of the Criminal Law [Codification and Reform] Act Chapter 9:23. More details to follow,” read the statement on Twitter.

In September last year, it emerged that Chokuda and other National Assembly staffers had awarded laptop tenders to dubious companies Blinart Investments and Mid-End Computers and Hardware before they were blacklisted by the Treasury.

After public outcry, Parliament went on to cancel the tenders which it had awarded to the shadowy company Blinart Investments after the company tried to dupe the National Assembly of US$1,602,755. 77 in a deal to supply laptops at USD$9200 each.

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Another tender for the supply of 79 desktop computers at US$3 076.61 amounting to US$243 052,36 which was awarded to Mid-End Computers and Hardware, believed to be owned by one Saul Nyakudya, was also cancelled.

The whole scandal was revealed after Secretary for Finance and Economic Development, George Guvamatanga released a report saying that the treasury had rejected the deal awarded to the two controversial companies.

“It has come to Treasury’s attention that Parliament of Zimbabwe had awarded a tender for the supply and delivery of laptops and desktops to the following companies as follows: Blinart Investment and Mid-End Computers and Hardware put in their bids for the supply of 173 Laptops and 79 Desktops,” Guvamatanga wrote to Chokuda.

“Treasury notes with concern that these suppliers are charging USD9 264,48 and USD3 076.61 for a laptop and desktop, respectively. These USD dollar prices have been exorbitantly inflated way beyond those that are prevailing in the market and hence, are not acceptable.”

“Notwithstanding the high prices, this tender award is in complete disregard of the Treasury minute dated 2 August 2022, directing line Ministries to ensure value for money for Government and hence, to rationalise all procurement processes with a view to operating within the confines of the willing buyer willing seller foreign exchange rate.

“In this regard and to ensure value for money for Government, in line with the Public Finance Management Act (Chapter 22 19) which empowers Treasury to manage and control public resources, Treasury directs that this tender be cancelled and the concerned suppliers be blacklisted from any future Government procurement process.”