High and Tertiary Education, Science and Technology Development Deputy Minister Dr Godfrey Gandawa was yesterday arrested and released into the custody of his lawyer after a five-hour grilling by the Zimbabwe Anti-Corruption Commission over his role in the alleged abuse of State funds.
A close source told The Herald last night that Dr Gandawa, who was accompanied by his lawyer Mr Bernard Chidziva, handed himself over to the anti-corruption body for the due process of the law.
"They came in the morning and he was released later in the afternoon," said the source without elaborating. He was released in the afternoon after a warned and cautioned statement was recorded. Dr Gandawa is expected to appear in court soon.
The deputy minister's arrest came just a day after High and Education, Science and Technology Development Minister Professor Jonathan Moyo appeared before ZACC. He was also released into the custody of his lawyer, Mr Terence Hussein.
Unconfirmed reports last night said the Zimbabwe Manpower Develoment Fund (Zimdef) chief executive, Mr Frederick Mandizvidza, and finance director Mr Nicholas Mapute were also arrested and released pending court appearance.
According to information at hand, $95 800 was transferred from Zimdef to Wishbone Trading through CABS. Dr Gandawa received $20 000 through his personal Barclays account after which he transferred $19 030 to HIB Rajput PL T/A Ace Cycles. Dr Gandawa then transferred $27 550 to SKM Motorcycles for 10 tricycles for Prof Moyo and the balance was withdrawn in cash.
It is also now public knowledge that $107 525 was transferred from Zimdef to Fuzzy Technologies' NMB Bank account, of which $5 745 was transferred to Pridham Investments for Dr Gandawa's personal furniture.
Dr Gandawa also paid for 69 bicycles worth $7 260 for Prof Moyo. He also transferred $12 900 to Wishbone Trading as capital to finance his personal business and the remainder was withdrawn in cash.
The documents further show ZACC is investigating a separate case in which Prof Moyo and Dr Gandawa are suspected of getting Zimdef to release 100 000 litres of diesel worth $118 500, fuel which was then diverted to the black market.
It is alleged the fuel was requested by the Zimbabwe Youth Council on July 26 for a "skills gap assessment programme". Dr Gandawa recommended the allocation and Prof Moyo gave his approval on August 4, 2016.
Prof Moyo, Dr Gandawa, Mr Mandizvidza and Mr Mapute could have unlawfully benefited from $430 000 of the State enterprise's money between November 2015 and June 2016, documents show. ZACC is investigating other alleged abuses of Zimdef funds by Prof Moyo, his deputy, and three subordinates.