Exclusive: Zimstat Director General Taguma Mahonde arrested by ZACC over alleged corruption
Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency (Zimstat) Director General, Taguma Mahonde has been arrested by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) following a series of stories by Nehanda Radio exposing him in alleged massive corruption and corporate malpractices.
ZACC spokesperson Commissioner Thandiwe Mlobane confirmed the development in a telephone interview with this publication saying investigations were still being conducted.
“Director General of Zimbabwe National Statistics Agency, Taguma Mahonde has been arrested by ZACC for fraud. Investigations are still ongoing,” she said.
Nehanda Radio understands that Mahonde has been allegedly 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
Information at hand also reveals that he shockingly bought his service car, a Toyota Land Cruiser engine 1KD2030942, Chassis Number JTEBH9FJX0K029883, for US$300 for the services rendered in three years.
The controversial businessman and top government official was also given a Land Rover Discovery which was bought in 2021 leading to him owning two vehicles in five years which is against principles of good governance.
On 2 March 2023, after Nehanda Radio called the commission to help provide correspondence regarding the matter, he was called for interviews by ZACC.
An official letter, by the Central Mechanical Equipment Department (CMED) managing director Davison Mhaka, authorising the disposal of the vehicle that was originally priced at US$28 000 reveals it all. He bought it for as little as US$300 before he was given another top of the range vehicle.
Despite the fact that all employees at Zimstat were being paid salaries in ZWL currency, documents also show Mahonde requesting for school fees allowances, in USD, for the 2023 first term. The funds were processed.
A source from the agency said: “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.”
The source further stated 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.”
Mahonde was working in cahoots with the company’s Finance Director Romania Nyahwa to fleece the company of much needed resources, allocating Zimstat funds and donations to Mahonde, buying him top of the range latest cars (vehicle registrations provided).
The money that was allocated by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe for the purchase 8 vehicles and 150 bikes for the agency operations, was allegedly “misappropriated” by the Finance Director who channeled it 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.”