Gokwe Town Secretary arrested

By ZBC Reporter
GOKWE Town Secretary, Melania Mandeya (49) has been arrested on charges of criminal abuse of office involving various allegations among them, flouting tender procedures, inflating costs on payment for external services and nepotism. Mandeya is currently in police custody.
Acting police spokesperson for Midlands, Assistant Inspector Ethel Mukwende said she was yet to get details of the arrest.
Gokwe Town Chairperson, Never Gwanzura however confirmed the arrest. He said police had picked up Mandeya in her office this morning.
“I can confirm that our Town Secretary has been picked by police and is currently assisting them with investigations over allegations of abuse of office,” he said.
“Officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) came and picked up our town secretary at work and when we made a follow up this afternoon (yesterday), she was still in the cells with the police saying she is only likely to go to court tomorrow (today),” said Gwanzura.
Gwanzura said Mandeya was facing criminal abuse of office charges, but could not be drawn into details.
A report compiled by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) prompted Mandeya’s arrest.
The report, which was copied to the Midlands Provincial Affairs Minister, the police and the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission (ZACC) accuses Mandeya of maladministration and abuse of office.
“We are pleased to forward a report compiled by the Anti-Corruption Trust of Southern Africa (ACT-SA) on possible cases of corruption at the Gokwe Town Council (GTC).
“The report was compiled following an invitation by residents, ratepayers and other special interest groups within the jurisdiction of the local authority. ACT-SA conducted face-to-face interviews, focus group discussions and reviewed secondary data, which facilitated the compilation of the attached report,
“Most of the allegations are supported by documentary evidence which either ACT-SA or complainants (residents, ratepayers and other interest groups) are willing to share to facilitate investigations. There is a critical mass of individuals willing to give more information, in the event that your organisations want to start investigations,” read part of the report.
The report also accused Mandeya of awarding tenders to her friends and family members without following procedure.
The town secretary is also accused of inflating figures when she bought a top-of-the-range vehicle for use on council business.
“There is rampant corruption on the awarding of tenders. This allegedly favours the town secretary’s family members, friends and compatriots. For instance, the tender for the supply of curtains for the Town House did not only violate tender regulations, but was awarded to a relative who was staying in the same house with the town secretary at the time of the award,” read the report.